ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tocqueville for Our Times

Anxieties of Democracy: Tocquevillean Reflections on India and the United States edited by Partha Chatterjee and Ira Katznelson (New Delhi: OUP), 2012; pp xiv + 310, Rs 750.

Piracy and its Discontents

Aaron Swartz, computer programmer, writer, archivist and internet activist, committed suicide on January 11, 2013, weeks before he was to go on trial over hacking allegations relating to the downloading of millions of academic papers from the online archive JSTOR, for free online access and distribution. A small section of publishers, copyrighters, journal archivists heave a sigh of relief and perhaps, even feel vindicated at this ironic twist of fate where his suicide becomes a metaphor, or an exemplar, for the nemesis that awaits "stealing", copying and circulation of copyrighted ideas.

'3(d)' Effect: The Novartis-Glivec Case

The appeal of the multinational drug major Novartis in the Supreme Court against denial of patent protection to its anti-cancer drug Glivec will decide whether Indian courts uphold a "precautionary principle" with regard to the right to health and life or the demands of intellectual property rights must take priority. Either way, this case will have major ramifications for public health and the ability of sovereign countries to enact laws to protect their citizens.

Intellectual Property Rights: Excluding Other Rights of Other People

This article interrogates the claims of intellectual property to be a right. Drawing on the political theory of rights, it argues that information, ideas and knowledge fail to meet the basic test of rights and intellectual property right prevents those who do not own it from accessing and exercising their own diverse rights. Thus, it violates the very idea of individual autonomy on which it bases its claims. The article further looks at the contested areas of traditional knowledge, farmers' rights and health rights to illustrate the unsolved contradiction intellectual property rights poses to the liberal doctrine of rights.
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