Intellectual Property and Hegelian Justification

Intellectual Property and Hegelian Justification

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Volume 1 Issue 2 ()

Property is a contingent fact within our world. It is neither ordained by nature nor is necessary for human survival. So the development of virtual worlds gives us an excellent opportunity to experiment with the legal relationships, transactions, and obligations that, in the real world, fall within the category of property. Virtual worlds are places where millions of people come to play, trade, create, and socialize. In this Article, the author examines the most debated legal question raised by virtual world societies. The author makes a modest attempt to explain whether virtual objects might be understood as constituting legal property by taking the Hegelian theory of Intellectual Property as the base of her argument, as according to Hegel, intellectual property need not be justified by analogy to physical property. In fact, the analogy to physical property may distort the very status Hegel ascribes to personality and mental traits in relation to the will. Property is a contingent fact within our world. It is neither ordained by nature nor is necessary for human survival. So the development of virtual worlds gives us an excellent opportunity to experiment with the legal relationships, transactions, and obligations that, in the real world, fall within the category of property. Virtual worlds are places where millions of people come to play, trade, create, and socialize. In this Article, the author examines the most debated legal question raised by virtual world societies. The author makes a modest attempt to explain whether virtual objects might be understood as constituting legal property by taking the Hegelian theory of Intellectual Property as the base of her argument, as according to Hegel, intellectual property need not be justified by analogy to physical property. In fact, the analogy to physical property may distort the very status Hegel ascribes to personality and mental traits in relation to the will.

Cite as: Kanu Priya, Intellectual Property and Hegelian Justification, 1 NUJS L. Rev. 359 (2008)

Disclaimer: All articles of Issue 1 (2) of the NUJS Law Review will be released online once the print copy is out