“Child Pornography is Great!”

What is it great for?  Censorship.  A book called The Pirate Organization quotes  a spokesperson for an intellectual property lobby in Denmark: Child pornography is great! It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that we can…

Drugs in Emerging Markets

Governments in emerging markets want their citizens to have better drugs. The big pharmaceutical firms are keen to sell to them. But they are fighting bitterly over the terms. – The Economist. Should emerging markets compel companies to sell drugs to them?  As an economist, I am by nature averse to government coercion.  When people…

Patenting Genes

In general, I am weary of patents (see my Healthcare Manifesto and Against Intellectual Property posts). Sure, they may be useful to spur innovation, but they also harm innovation since one cannot modify or improve a product while there is still a patent. Further, patents generate rent-seeking where inventors spent tons of time wrangling to…