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Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information, and Privacy

Renée Marlin-Bennett
Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information, and Privacy
ISBN: 978-1-58826-256-1
ISBN: 978-1-58826-281-3
2004/274 pages/LC: 2004001837
iPolitics: Global Challenges in the Information Age

"Every now and then a book comes along that is both validating and frustrating. [Knowledge Power] is validating because at long last someone is paying adequate attention to information policy issues; and it is frustrating because [the author] does such a great job at covering the various policies, issues, and debates that few could come along and compete without being repetitive.... [Marlin-Bennett] delicately navigates the world of a variety of information policy quagmires, ranging from the protection of the secret formula for Coca Cola, to the use of meteorological data by countries and companies, across to the use of personal data by companies and governments.... This book should be in every university library.... Every academic in our disciplines should pick up this book and realize that there is a world of policy out there that is begging for academic attention."—Ian Hosein, The Information Society

"A welcome addition to the ... global debate over the proper balance between intellectual property rights and other areas of public interest." —Susanna H.S. Leong, International Studies Review

"An unusually comprehensive, succinct, insightful, and up-to-date review of all intellectual property issues."—John Howkins, Financial Review

"A superb and comprehensive introduction to the issues and controversies surrounding intellectual property, information, and privacy.... well conceived, accessible, and engaging."—Susan Sell, George Washington University

"Marlin-Bennett's long-needed analysis offers the best of all worlds—it is broad enough to begin making sense of the impact of technology on society, and specific enough to provide valuable, practical insights into situations that apply to the student, the scholar, and the policymaker."—Ken Rogerson, Duke University

"An engaging, easy-to-read overview of a complex and important subject. Dr. Marlin-Bennett's book is neither too technical nor too polemical, which greatly increases its appeal."—Debra Spar, Harvard Business School


Knowledge Power introduces the interconnected roles of intellectual property, information, and privacy and explores the evolution of the domestic and international rules that govern them.

What roles are played by governments, individuals, firms, and others in shaping our knowledge world? How will the rules that we create—or unquestioningly accept—affect the contours of global society and of our own lives? Marlin-Bennett's provocative exposition highlights the tensions between market interests and privacy, and between property rights and obligations, that have been exacerbated by the new digital technologies. It is an impressively clear introduction to an exceedingly difficult subject.


Renée Marlin-Bennett is professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University.


  • Introduction: Products of the Mind.
  • Intellectual Property.
  • The Global Governance of Intellectual Property.
  • Global Intellectual Property: Policy Conundrums.
  • Information.
  • Owning Information About the Planet.
  • Owning Information About People.
  • Privacy.
  • Violating the Public-Private Border.
  • Guarding the Border: Gaining Control over Personal Data.
  • Conclusion.
No rights in South Asia.