Information Wants to be Property: Legal Commodification of E-commerce Assets
In the global information age, information per se is becoming one of the most valuable assets of many businesses. Because of this, the laws of many jurisdictions have started evolving to extend the protections for such information against unauthorised access, use and/or interference. These legal moves tend to have the direct or indirect effect of 'propertizing' aspects of the information in question. Recent moves in the area of copyright law in particular have shown a marked trend towards increased legal support for the commodification of commercially valuable information. Examples of this trend can be seen in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the United States and the Database Directive in the European Union. The following discussion examines this phenomenon and raises some questions about the desirable limits of legal commodification of information in this context.