|Title:||The Public Psychology of Intellectual Property|
|Author(s):||Mandel, G. N.|
|Citation:||Mandel, Gregory N., The Public Psychology of Intellectual Property (March 27, 2013). Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, 2013 (Forthcoming); Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-23.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||A national population of 1,719 United States adults took part in the studies, conducted via SurveyMonkey, an online survey instrument company. The study population was provided from a participant pool by SurveyMonkey. The study participants were not paid for taking part, but were entered into a weekly cash drawing and a donation to charity was made for their participation.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Though the success of intellectual property law depends upon its ability to affect human perception and behavior, the public psychology of intellectual property has barely been explored. Over 1700 U.S. adults took part in an experimental study designed to investigate popular conceptions of intellectual property rights. Respondents’ views of what intellectual property rights should be differed substantially from actual law, and popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights are contrary to commonly accepted bases relied on in legal and policy decision-making. Linear regression analysis reveals previously unrecognized cultural divides concerning intellectual property based on people’s income, age, education, political ideology, and gender.
Main Results of the Study
This Article examines the relationship between popular conceptions of what intellectual property rights should be and what intellectual property rights legally are across different types of creative works. More specifically, it shows that:
- Respondents’ views of what should be protected by intellectual property rights differs substantially from actual law.
- Public perception of what intellectual property rights should be also varies, in an inconsistent manner, between copyright and patent law.
- Popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights are contrary to commonly accepted bases relied upon in legal and policy decision-making.
- Having lower income, being older, being more educated, and having less experience with intellectual property all correlate with a desire for stronger intellectual property protection.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Sophisticated legislators and policymakers will need to take public perceptions, whether accurate or not, into account in designing the intellectual property system in order to achieve the desired ends.
- While those who focus on intellectual property law generally perceive the law as directed towards providing an incentive for authors and inventors to produce, disseminate, and commercialize creative achievements, the public at large primarily views intellectual property rights as deriving from an author’s or inventor’s natural rights in his or her creative achievement.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2013|