REVIEW: "Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy", Renee Marlin-Bennett
- BKKPIPIP.RVW 20061119
"Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy",
Renee Marlin-Bennett, 2004, 1-58826-281-2, U$23.50
%A Renee Marlin-Bennett
%C 1800 30th St., Boulder, CO 80301
%I Lynne Rienner Publishers
%O U$23.50 www.rienner.com
%O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 273 p.
%T "Knowledge Power: Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy"
Chapter one examines the idea of intellectual property (IP). This
analysis could have been either prescriptive (what IP should be) or
descriptive (what IP is, usually in terms of law), but instead it
mostly opines prescriptively, and, when there is a need to take a
stand, cravenly goes to what the legislation (generally from the
United States) says. (There is some mention of international
differences.) A link between privacy and IP is promised in one
section, but not delivered. A historical overview of the development
of IP is given in chapter two: when it gets to current definitions we
are again presented with US law. Treaties and organizations
attempting to bridge national differences in IP are listed in chapter
three. Chapter four presents some examples of problem areas in IP,
such as pharmaceutical patents and those on sections of the human
A few philosophical views and theories of information are outlined in
chapter five, followed by a discussion of information of various types
and values. (The deliberation would have been more interesting if the
types had been analyzed in light of the different theories.) Chapter
six looks into the pros and cons of "ownership" and limitation of
public types of data, such as that in regard to weather and geography.
Similarly, chapter seven has the same type of discussion regarding
information about people (much of it in relation to issues of
surveillance.) Chapter eight has the same problems with the
definition of the topic that most other works have had, which is
possibly why the remaining examination seems unhelpful. There are
numerous technical errors ("Magic Lantern" is *not* a virus) in
chapter nine's discussion of privacy breaches. Similarly, the
deliberation on privacy protection technology, in chapter ten, is
flawed. Chapter eleven finishes off with vague opining.
There are a number of other books that address the topic of privacy at
the same superficial level, such as "Benjamin Franklin's Website" by
Robert Ellis Smith (cf. BKBNFRWS.RVW), Simson Garfinkel's "Database
Nation" (cf. BKDBSNTN.RVW), Peterson's "I Love the Internet But I want
My Privacy Too" (cf. BKILIWMP.RVW), Cannon's "Privacy" (cf.
BKPRVACY.RVW), and "The Privacy Papers" by Rebecca Herold (cf.
BKPRVPAP.RVW). Then there are the superior works that define the
field, like "Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape" by Agre and
Rotenberg (cf. BKTCHPRV.RVW), 1997, Cady and McGregor's surprisingly
good "Protect Your Digital Privacy" (cf. BKPYDPRV.RVW), "Internet and
Online Privacy" by Frackman, Martin and Ray (cf. BKINONPR.RVW),
Schneier and Banisar's entertaining and informative "Electronic
Privacy Papers" (cf. BKELPRPA.RVW), and "Privacy on the Line"by
Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau (cf. BKPRIVLN.RVW).
True, as with David Brin's "The Transparent Society" (cf.
BKTRASOC.RVW), Marlin-Bennett promises a unique premise, in this case
a tie between privacy and intellectual property. Unlike Brin, in this
book the link is not strongly demonstrated. We are, therefore, left
with a somewhat simplistic review of the topics listed in the title.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2006 BKKPIPIP.RVW 20061119
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the
illusion of knowledge. - Daniel J. Boorstin
Dictionary of Information Security www.syngress.com/catalog/?pid=4150