Positioning the intellectual property issue at the centre of the education research private/public debate: A Marxian dialectical critique

Year: 2004

Author: Raduntz, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Positioning intellectual property at the centre of the education and education research public/private debate is intended to highlight its importance as the means and outcome of the educative and research processes not only in the doing of public good but also for private profit maximisation in a shrinking, yet paradoxically, globalising capitalist market economy dependent on information and on a rapid technological innovation turnover. Employing a Marxian dialectical critique the paper seeks to show that, given capitalism's recurring crises, it is essential and extremely lucrative for capital not only to effect a takeover of the hitherto largely publicly funded education and research processes but also to appropriate the intellectual property outcomes. The paper argues that in terms of education, educational research and intellectual property the transfer from a public good to private property has implications involving not only the proletarianisation of educators/researchers but also the imposition of limitations on the free exchange of ideas and open access which intellectual property requires for the public good and, paradoxically, for the reproduction of capitalism itself. In the crucial debate on the positioning of educational research for the public good it is therefore vital also to factor in the intellectual property issue.