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Nice Work If You Can Get ItLife and Labor in Precarious Times$
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Andrew Ross

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776292

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776292.001.0001

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The Copyfight over Intellectual Property

The Copyfight over Intellectual Property

(p.161) 6 The Copyfight over Intellectual Property
Nice Work If You Can Get It

Andrew Ross

NYU Press

This chapter surveys the efforts of elites to use intellectual property legislation to further direct and control the globe-hopping traffic in jobs, knowledge, and trade. In the manufacturing sector, investors weigh the cost of shipping machinery against the returns to be harvested from setting up in a trade zone offering tax holidays, free land, discounted overheads, and a ready pool of dispensable labor. Meanwhile, in the service industries, the development of advanced workflow software has made it increasingly easy to break down tasks, assign them to different global locations, and reintegrate the results. In this manner, a substantial volume of skilled work, knowledge, and IT technologies has been migrated to the cheapest available labor markets. However, a good proportion of these efforts result in a flagrantly unequal property grab, and so the ownership shares are being contested in the name of public access by a coalition of experts with the legal access and resources to do so.

Keywords:   intellectual property, intellectual property legislation, dispensable labor, workflow software, property grab, ownership shares

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