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La confrence de Joseph Stiglitz ( 16 fvrier 2007 )sur les fondements conomiques de la PI est en ligne cette adresse :
Le podcast (dure 79 minutes) est cette URL :

My work in the economics of innovation began some forty years ago. I realized, as I was beginning my work on the Economics of Information, that knowledge and information are very similar. In fact, you can view information as a particular kind of knowledge, and so the problems that I was analyzing at the time, such as how well the market economy deals with information, corresponded to the question of how well the market economy deals with knowledge. My work showed that the standard paradigm (the neoclassical model, which argued that well-functioning markets solved all economic problems) just did not work when information was imperfect and endogenous (that is, could be affected by what individuals or firms did), and, by extension, when knowledge is endogenous (that is, when technology is changing). Adam Smiths theory argued that individuals in pursuit of their self-interest (firms in pursuit of maximizing profits) were led as if by an invisible hand to the general well-being of society. One of the important results of my work, developed in a number of my papers, was that the invisible hand often seemed invisible because it was not there.
This led me to a certain degree of skepticism about the standard perspectives on intellectual property.

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Intellectual property has become one of the major issues of our global society. Globalization is one of the most important issues of the day, and intellectual property is one of the most important aspects of globalization, especially as the world moves toward a knowledge economy.
How we regulate and manage the production of knowledge and the right of access to knowledge is at the center of how well this new economy, the knowledge economy, works and of who benefits. At stake are matters of both distribution and efficiency.

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Another example of important innovations not driven by IPR is the open source movement, which has been particularly successful in software. Even when research is financed by firms, there are other ways of providing returns on knowledge instead of using patents, such as trade secrets and advantages that come naturally to the first entrants in a market economy. There are also other ways of providing incentives; one of them I will discuss is a prize system, which has actually been a part of the innovation system for a couple hundred years. I will argue that, from a societal perspective, prizes have marked advantages over the patent system.

Obviously, research has to be financed. It takes resources, so the question is not just how we motivate research but also how we finance it. As I shall comment below, financing research through monopoly profits may be neither the most efficient nor the most equitable way of doing so.

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There are a host of questions = il y a un tas de questions

For instance, to get a patent you have to disclose enough information that somebody could replicate what is being patented (though often firms try to get away with disclosing as little as possible). Disclosure has long been an important part of the patent and intellectual property regime; it is one of the reasons why IPR can enhance innovation: people can build on that knowledge. Knowledge is the most important input into knowledge. Interestingly, in some of the more recent intellectual property disputes, the notion of disclosure has been contested. Microsoft has, by most accounts, not wanted to disclose even its protocols (required for interoperability with applications). The European Union has insisted that it at least disclose specifications for its protocols and Microsoft has tried everything not to comply with the European Unions requirement,

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Thus knowledge has the quality of nonrivalrous consumption.
Another way of putting it is that there is no marginal cost associated with the use of knowledge. Thomas Jefferson described this much more poetically. Jefferson said that knowledge was like a candle: when one candle lights another it does not diminish the light of the first candle. Understanding this concept is at the core of understanding efficiency in the use of knowledge. It is more efficient to distribute knowledge freely to everybody than to restrict its use by charging for it. dilemme, embarras

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2. Why Patents May Impede Innovation: Raising the Cost of Knowledge. So far, I have explained why it is that the returns to patents do not correspond to the social benefits. I now want to go further and explain why it is that patents may actually slow innovation. Knowledge is the most important input into the production of knowledge. Intellectual property restricts this input; indeed, it works by limiting access to knowledge. One way of thinking about this is in terms of any standard production process. If you increase the price of an input, it reduces the supply of the output. In this case, the input is knowledge; patents increase the price of this input, which in turn reduces the output.


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In regards to finance, the patent system is the worst of the three systems. It is highly distortionary and inequitable in the way funds to support research are raisedby charging monopoly prices, for example, on the sick. By the same token, the transactions costs (especially those associated with litigation) and the distortions in the economic system are much higher with a patent system than with the other two.

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