William Kingston frames this book around a clearly stated premise: the focus of information protection regimes has shifted from benefiting the public to benefiting private individuals with interests in the game—and this shift is not good. Early on, protection of information was shaped by actors with no personal stake but rather a desire to encourage invention and innovation for the public good. These actors were primarily limited by constitutional provisions and bureaucratic inefficiencies. As time went on,and as information became a more important commodity, information protection schemes were fashioned, or perhaps twisted, by the parties that would derive the most benefit. Stakeholder driven systems are unlikely to be able and willing to adapt to changing technology and innovation. The transition from public interests to individual interests, Kingston claims, has resulted in a “dysfunctional system” in need of “rescue”. Public good must be the heart of any reform to information protection, andKingston concludes by offering a set of proposals to that end.
Kristen Osenga, Book Review, 1 IP Law Book Review 2 (2011) (reviewing William Kingston, Beyond Intellectual Property: Matching Information Protection to Innovation (2010)).