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Abstract

In this article, I will offer an argument for the protection of intellectual property based on individual self-interest and prudence. In large part, this argument will parallel considerations that arise in a prisoner’s dilemma game. In brief, allowing content to be unprotected in terms of free access leads to a sub-optimal outcome where creation and innovation are suppressed. Adopting the institutions of copyright, patent, and trade secret is one way to avoid these sub-optimal results.

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