Intellectual Property Battles in a Technological Global Economy: A Just War Analysis

Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (4):679-693 (2004)
Abstract
War has broken out in the technological global economy, principally in battles over intellectual property. A particularly fierce aspect ofthis battle sets people who guard proprietary software against hackers, who want information to be free. The key challenge today is to produce an adequate conceptual lens for seeing what ethically is at stake in this battle. Toward this end, this paper uses the just war tradition to analyze differences between proponents of Free Software and proponents of Open Source Software. This paper?s use of three just war criteria?Just Cause, Right Intention, and Discrimination?illustrates how the just war tradition can raise the level of ethical awareness about the intellectual property wars that continue to rage in the technological global economy
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