Book reviews

Book review for the book ‘Museums and the Law’ Sakkoulas, Athens 2023 (in Greek)

Α defense of intellectual property rights

1. Kotsiris L., Professor Emeritus, Member of the Academy of Athens.
For the book A defense of intellectual property rights
Book review in DiMME (full text)

2. Kenneth Einar Himma (2011). Richard Spinello and Maria Bottis: Understanding the Debate on the Legal Protection of Moral Intellectual Property Interests: Review Essay of A Defense of Intellectual Property Rights. In Ethics and Information Technology, September 2011, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 283-288.

3. Pr. Richard Volkman, Assistant Professor of philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University and associate director of the Research Centre on Computing and Society:
«This book should change the contours of the intellectual property debate. Spinello and Bottis fully appreciate what the standard instrumentalist accounts of intellectual property cannot even acknowledge--that the lives and liberty of creators and artists are not the common property of society, and that it is intrinsically wrong to treat the efforts and projects of individuals as if they were unowned resources reaped as the fruit of the earth. Their work should help to reorient discussion of IP from an excessive concern with the economic and social consequences of competing policies back to the bedrock issues of basic respect for the integrity of our various particular lives and the labour that constitutes those lives. At the same time, they studiously avoid the unserious extremism that characterizes so much of the debate on every side, recognizing that respecting the lives and liberty of all sets real boundaries on the proper scope and stringency of IP claims, ruling out overzealous enforcement and radical repudiation alike».

4. Pr. Rafael Capurro, Professor of information management and information ethics at Stuttgart Media University Germany, Director of Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute Information Ethics (STI-IE) (since 2008) Founder and Director of the International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE):
«Since the rise of the Internet the question of intellectual property has been and still is one of the most controversial societal and ethical issues. The new global, interactive and bottom-up medium challenges moral, legal and economic structures not only in the music and film industry but also in the field of knowledge production, storage, distribution and access. The academic debate soon became and is still polarized between critics and defenders of IPR. The book by Richard Spinello & Maria Bottis "A Defense of Intellectual Property Rights" analyses in a critical and comprehensive manner some of the dogmas widely spread by the critics of IPR paying special attention to the differences between EU and European legal regimes. The authors explore the foundations of IP in Lockean philosophy, as a representative of a natural law approach, as well as in the theories of Fichte and Hegel based on deontological arguments. Both perspectives prevail in European law while American property law is widely based on utilitarian arguments. The authors argue in favour of Lockean and Hegelian foundations showing their relevance in the present debate as well as calling the attention to the link between these theories and the Catholic social doctrine. The book is an important contribution to this ongoing debate».

5. Richard A. Spinello and Maria Bottis defend the thesis that intellectual property rights are justified on non-economic grounds. The rationale for this moral justification is primarily inspired by the theory of John Locke. In the process of defending Locke, the authors confront the deconstructionist critique of intellectual property rights and remove the major barriers interfering with a proper understanding of authorial entitlement. The book also familiarizes the reader with the rich historical and legal tradition behind intellectual property protection.

6. Review by the IPKat
Related link:
“…A Defense Of Intellectual Property Rights, by Richard A. Spinello and Maria Bottis, is that rare creature these days -- a book on intellectual property rights that is not predicated by the considerations of economics and the demands of the marketplace. A little unfashionably, the authors argue the case that intellectual property rights are justified on non-economic grounds. Then they get a tiny little bit more fashionable, since they believe that the rationale for this moral justification is primarily inspired by the philosophy of John Locke (in this they are not alone: Lior Zemer has waved the Locke supporters' club banner when justifying his views on authorship in copyright, and Uma Suthersanen too has favoured his approach). Adds the publisher's web-blurb: "In the process of defending Locke, the authors confront the deconstructionist critique of intellectual property rights and remove the major barriers interfering with a proper understanding of authorial entitlement. The book also familiarizes the reader with the rich historical and legal tradition [the words 'rich historical and legal tradition' depress this Kat: they remind him of all the things the British government has changed for the sake of change in recent years. It's almost as though being a rich tradition is a sort of death warrant] behind intellectual property protection". Richard Spinello is Associate Research Professor in the Carroll School of Management, Boston College, US; Maria Bottis lectures in the Department of Archive and Library Sciences of the Ionian University, Greece. This combination conjures up images of dynamic management skills blended with patient research lovingly harvested from the dusty vaults of archived materials. At any rate, it works well. Defending IP rights in this cynical age is about as much fun as proving the existence of fairies, but at least these authors have done a credible job of it. Like ants, humans are tireless workers in their various creative activities; unlike ants, they are individuals and the protection of their differences -- and the cultivation of the personal output which distinguishes them from one another -- can itself provide a reason for protection…”
Book review of the monograph The Legal Protection of Databases, Review of Commercial Law, Beatrice Gakis, 2004, p. 865

Book review of the book ‘A Defense of Intellectual Property Rights’, Spinello && Bottis, 2009, by Brian Spiar, World Patent Information, 2010, vol. 32, issue 1, p. 70.

Review for the Honorary Volume of Evi Laskaris, Intenational Review for Information Ethics, volume 21 (07/2014)
‘…Many readers will no doubt be struck by the manner in which this edited volume is so elegantly designed and presented…. I suspect that many readers will also be struck by the (overall) high quality of this volume’s content, which was made possible in no small part by the impressive range of international scholars who contributed their papers to it. Not only does this handsome volume succeed in honoring Evi Laskari’s legacy through its collection of essays/texts that pay homage to this worthy scholar, whose life’s work has contributed significantly to the field of information/library science, but it has also cleverly provided a novel, or at least a slightly alternative, forum for disseminating print versions of papers originally presented at a major international conference. In an era when many conference proceedings now appear to be hastily assembled, sometimes with very little thought given to themes and organizing principles for arranging the content, and are then made available only online or only in digital media, Bottis’s volume is a welcomed exception. Her volume should be applauded for bringing together quality conference papers and festschrift-like essays (which otherwise might never have been easily available to a broader international audience) in one, very-carefully-conceived book of readings..’, Herman Tavani, Professor, Rivier University, US

Review for the Volume "History of Information"
«…Ο συλλογικός τόμος ‘Ιστορία της Πληροφορίας’ αποτελεί ένα έργο εξαιρετικά πρωτότυπο για τα ελληνικά δεδομένα το οποίο επιτυγχάνει στη διαχρονική και διεπιστημονική παρουσίαση της πληροφορίας από την αρχαιότητα και το μεσαίωνα μέχρι την εποχή της παγκοσμιοποίησης. Οι πλούσιες σε ιδέες μελέτες που ο συλλογικός τόμος περιέχει οδηγούν τον αναγνώστη στην κατανόηση της κοινωνικής σημασίας και των κοινωνικών συνεπειών της χρήσης της πληροφορίας, ιστορικά αλλά και στη σύγχρονη εποχή. Πρόκειται, τέλος, για ένα βιβλίο ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό για τον εμπλουτισμό της ελληνικής βιβλιογραφίας σε ζητήματα δικαίου και τεχνολογίας, τα οποία όλο και περισσότερο απασχολούν διεθνώς τη νομική επιστήμη. Με την έννοια αυτή, ανοίγει ουσιαστικά το δρόμο για την έρευνατης πληροφορίας ως διακριτού δικαιϊκού κλάδου, αυτού του ‘δικαίου της πληροφορίας’, Χρστίνα Ακριβοπούλου, Βιβλιοκρισία για τον τόμο, περιοδικό Το Σύνταγμα, 2014
Βook review of «Bioethical Concerns”, P. Voultsos, Lecturer, AUT, Gazette of Administrative Law 2015, 2, pp. 269-272

Labros Kotsiris, Book Review for the book Bioethcal Concerns, edited by M. Bottis/F. Panagopoulou, in Human Rights, volume 66, 2015
Book Review for the Broadening the Horizons of Information Law and Ethics, a Time for Inclusion, University of Macedonia Press, 2017
One virtue of this edited volume is apparent in the diverse range of topics that are thoughtfully examined by the individual contributors. Because of space limitations, however, it would not be possible for the present reviewer to comment critically on each paper. So I will limit my further analysis to two articles that, from this reviewer’s perspective, are particularly noteworthy: Julian Hauser’s “Sharing is Caring vs. Stealing is Wrong: A Moral Argument for Limiting Copyright Protection”; and Nikos Koutras’s “The Concept of Intellectual Property: From Plato’s Views to Current Copyright Protection in the Light of Open Access”. Both articles approach their subject – in this case, intellectual property rights – from a highly theoretical perspective. (Admittedly, my decision to call attention to these two papers may indeed reveal my bias as a philosopher who tends to embrace “the theoretical”, realizing all the while the critical importance of the practical/applied side of information law/ethics as well.) Whereas Hauser’s paper nicely analyzes “authorial interests” vs. “public interests” against the backdrop of Lockean and personality–theory frameworks of property, Koutras traces some concepts of property and arguments for property rights from Plato and Aristotle to Locke and Hegel. Both authors show the significant impact that these highly–influential historical thinkers have had in the evolution of some contemporary frameworks that have been employed in the ongoing, and arguably contentious, intellectual– property–rights debate in the digital age.

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