Abstract - The Information Society 33(5)


The Tale of the Snake and the Elephant: Intellectual Property Expansion Under Informational Capitalism

Mariano Zukerfeld

While macro theorists of informational capitalism have tended to consider intellectual property in a vague and general way, intellectual property researchers have tended to focus on extremely specific issues. What gets missed is an understanding of intellectual property as a system and its relationship with the totality of capitalism. Starting from a cognitive materialist approach, this article offers a systematic account of the recent expansion of intellectual property rights. Thereafter, it situates the data on the expansion of intellectual property vis--vis the transition from industrial to informational capitalism and relates that expansion specifically to informational productive processes. It concludes with a general proposition about the relationship between the changes of stage in capitalism and the institutions of intellectual property.


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