A different kind of war: Internet databases and legal protection or how the strict intellectual property laws of the West threaten the developing countries’ information commons


  • Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis




This paper describes intellectual property legislation in the European Union, the US and the Draft Treaty on the legal protection of unoriginal databases, usually available in the Internet. I argue that this type of legislation, if enforced upon developing countries and countries in transition through international ‘agreements’, could in effect deprive them of their own information commons, their own public domain. With examples from China, India, Africa and Iceland, I argue that this deprivation in the case of developing countries is, morally, equal to a virtual war against them by the West, wholly unjustified and dangerous-an example of virtual imperialism.




How to Cite

Canellopoulou-Bottis, Maria. 2004. “A Different Kind of War: Internet Databases and Legal Protection or How the Strict Intellectual Property Laws of the West Threaten the Developing countries’ Information Commons”. The International Review of Information Ethics 2 (November). Edmonton, Canada. https://doi.org/10.29173/irie248.