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Enforcement of intellectual property rights

This post by David Nieporent at Overlawyered got me thinking about enforcement of intellectual property rights. In my view, IP rights are more likely to be underenforced than overenforced, but this very fact leads holders of IP rights to seek to make public examples of alleged infringers as a warning to all the others out there that can't be caught. One problem with enforcement that leads to ham-handed cease-and-desist warnings and stupid litigation is that company higher-ups learn of infringement and set a policy of dealing with it, but the people actually charged with doing so have no discretion or fear looking like they are insufficiently zealous in carrying out company priorities. This story in the Oregonian about a woman sued for music piracy despite substantial evidence the real culprit was someone she didn't even know may be an example of that tendency.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.