[-empyre-] Zone book about A2K

geert lovink geert at desk.nl
Wed Jun 23 17:21:02 EST 2010

> http://www.zonebooks.org/titles/KRIK_ACC.html

Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property
edited by Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski

Current Affairs | Information Science
$24.95 | £18.95 orig. paperback 978-1-890951-96-2
646 pp. | 61 illus. | 6 x 9
Available November 2010

The end of the twentieth century saw an explosive intrusion of  
intellectual property rights into everyday life. Expansive copyright  
laws and digital rights management technologies have sought to shut  
down new forms of copying and remixing facilitated by the Internet.  
International laws expanding patent rights have threatened the lives  
of millions of people around the world living with HIV/AIDS, by  
limiting their access to cheap generic medicines. For decades,  
governments have tightened the grip of intellectual property law at  
the bidding of information industries. Recently, a multitude of groups  
around the world have emerged to challenge this wave of enclosure with  
a new counter-politics of “access to knowledge” or “A2K.” They  
include software programmers who took to the streets to defeat  
software patents in Europe, AIDS activists who forced multinational  
pharmaceutical companies to permit copies of their medicines to be  
sold in poor countries, subsistence farmers defending their rights to  
food security or access to agricultural biotechnology, and college  
students who have created a new “free culture” movement to defend  
the digital commons. Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual  
Property is the first anthology of the A2K movement. Gaëlle Krikorian  
and Amy Kapcyznski have created a volume that renders the stakes and  
strategies at play in this new domain visible, and makes the terms of  
intellectual property law legible in their political implications  
around the world.

Access to Knowledge maps this emerging field of activism as a series  
of historical moments, strategies, and concepts. It gathers some of  
the most important thinkers and advocates in the field to address  
questions such as: Why is intellectual property becoming the object of  
a new global politics today? What concepts and issues might unite or  
fracture the emerging A2K movement? Is A2K more than an anti- 
intellectual property agenda — and should it be? As Access to  
Knowledge allows readers to see, intellectual property has become not  
only the site for new forms of international political activism but  
also the locus from which profound debates and struggles over  
politics, economics, and freedom have emerged. This book confronts and  
explicates the complexities and conflicts at stake in the movement and  
moments of this political and social mobilization.

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