The Wealth of Ideas – download

Innovation and creativity are essential aspects of human society, at individual level, but also at the level of society. Public policy will aim to promote innovation and creativity, and allow their proceeds to benefit as many as possible. The most efficient way would be to increase the freedom to innovate and be creative. This book looks with a very critical eye at one of the cornerstones of public policy on innovation and creativity: intellectual property rights (“IPRs”), which proclaim to promote innovation and creativity. It provides answers to the three fundamental questions: 1. Is the theory sound and consistent? 2. Does it work in practice? 3. Is it fair?




It looks at the parallels between IPRs and mercantilism, and proposes radical and practical solutions on how to achieve free trade in ideas.These will interest all those who want to achieve higher levels of innovation and creativity; especially artists, inventors and creators.

Written for a large audience, in accessible language, using real-world examples and facts available to all, it purposely avoids using the jargon of IPR-professionals, in order to demystify the debate and empower its readers. This book will allow the public, but also opinion and decision makers to look at innovation policy from a different perspective.

The book was refused by publishers, because they disagreed with the content and the main premise. Downloads for each chapter are made available below. Given the content of the book, it goes without saying that it will be provided on a creative commons basis, and without any DRM protection. Feel free to copy it – but if you like it, do encourage others to come to this page and download it too. There’s also a hard copy available through Amazon – the link is here. Amazon charges money, of course, so those hard copies are not for free. Please note that my royalty rate is very limited, I receive between 2 and 3 euro per copy.

I hope you enjoy the read, and please participate in the debate at the bottom of this page.

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Intro and Chapter 1: Freedom – Download here

    Discover why copies have value and are part of our freedom. This chapter explains why the continuous propaganda against copying is in reality an attack on our freedoms: the freedom to learn, the freedom to innovate, the freedom to operate, the freedom to improve, the freedom of enterprise.

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 2: IPRs – what’s the deal?

    This chapter presents the basic information on IPRs, in plain language that avoids the jargon. IPRs are an area that most IPR lobbyists (and the big monopolistic industries they represent) portray as “very complex” – so complex that, they say, it is left better to the professionals, far away from the transparency of a real public debate on innovation. This is something they don’t like – but it empowers you, reader, and will help to demistify the debate around IPRs. patent-icon

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 3: Lessons from History

    Intellectual Property repeats the same economic mistakes as classic mercantilism. This chapter explains. Tax Collector 1

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 4 : The Argument of the Head

    A simple theory can work very well. Or it can be dangerously wrong. IPR theory, at first glance, may feel intuitively correct. But, as this chapter shows, it is distorted; it is based on propaganda and fictitious constructs, it denies economic reality, and it ignores some basic important facts, such as the effects of technological progress and the nature of innovation. IPR theory is built on quicksand – once under scrutiny, it falls apart quickly.innovation-vs-imitation-green

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 5 : The Argument of the Gut

    The test of the pudding is in the eating, of course. Let’s do a reality check. While we can’t build a parallel universe without IPRs, we can look at the empirical evidence that is available. And what we see may surprise you. It is evidence that is systematically ignored and omitted by the deep-pocket lobbyists who proclaim the benefits of IPR monopoly. OS

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 6: The Argument of the Heart

    “Illegal” copying carries serious jail sentences, and IPR defenders use moral arguments, calling people who copy “thieves” or worse. Is that justified? Or is the criminalization of copying itself an immoral practice? This chapter identifies the real Free Riders in today’s society. (And it contains the only mention of sex in this book).

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 7: Where is the damage?

    The core argument of this book is that IPRs are hurting society’s ability to innovate. This chapter explains where in the economic process IPRs have their most devastating effect. It makes it clear why book publishers don’t want a book like this to be published.

  • The Wealth of Ideas – Chapter 8: Solutions

    It is important to do more than just criticize. Two solutions are offered: one radical and simple, the second a bit more complex, bringing market efficiency into a world where at present monopolies rule. Artists and inventors will be especially interested here; this would really benefit them.

  • The wealth of ideas – Chapter 9: Conclusion and afterthoughts

    Today, innovation and creativity are locked away. Prepare to be shocked by the image of the damage done to our society’s creativity by Intellectual Property Rights. We need to release humanity’s creativity and innovation, and abandon the outdated practices of locking up our ideas.

  • 23 thoughts on “The Wealth of Ideas – download

    1. Intellectual Space is a praxeological examination of property rights for intangible objects. I initially began thinking that a rigorous philosophical approach would support the anti-IP position prevalent in libertarian circles. The opposite has occurred.

      -Alexander Baker

    2. Piet De Pauw says:

      Is it possible there is no real download link for the book? I only met circular references, which lead to no download.

      1. joren says:

        If you tweet/click/share on social media, you will get access to the pdf file. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

        1. Cristina says:

          I don’t use facebook, twitter or google+. What can I do to download it?

          1. joren says:

            I will send you a copy.

            1. Javier says:

              I can’t download it neither. Could you please send it to me as well? Thanks!!

            2. Ramón says:

              I have the same problem: I recommend it in google+ but I receive no link to download it.
              Best regards.

            3. joren says:

              Thanks for mentioning. We are aware there’s some problems with the plugin, especially for Google+. The webdesign people are working on it; apologies and thanks for the patience. I’ll mail the book separately to you.

            4. fvdb says:

              Dear Joren. I’m very interested could I receive a copy download link for a review ?

            5. joren says:

              Each chapter can be downloaded separately – click on the chapter, then “like” or “tweet”, and you will get access to the download. If you have problems, let me know. Thanks

    3. Iván Sierra says:

      ¿Cuándo estará disponible en español?

      1. joren says:

        Please feel free to provide your own translation – as it is a creative commons work, you are free to translate it. Unfortunately, my Spanish is not good enough, but I would be honored to have a Spanish translation.

        1. Javier says:

          Hello Joren, for spanish translation perhaps you can contact this ONG from Argentina:

          I’m not related in any way, just read some publication of them. They have the same point of view of you, i believe. I think they will be happy to have contact with you and perhaps even translate.

          PS: I think that for my writing in this comment you can see i can’t translate accurately, haha 🙂

    4. I have also tweeted @javiervb your link twice (I needed to deleite the first one in order to be able to do it), but no download link is available

    5. Jebbs says:

      Hi Joren,
      I do not use any of these social networks but I would be glad to read your book. Could you please help me?
      Thank you very much!

      1. joren says:

        Happy to: you can buy a copy on Amazon, also Kindle. Just search on the title and you should be able to find it. Thanks.

    6. Jayant Nandagaoli says:

      Dear sir, I am completely agree with you. As IPR is an capitalistic innovation, which is just to protect the financial interest of capitalist under the pretend of innovation & creativity. I do agree with its implication and importance at some extend as for as investres risk & their marginal interest but the need of copyright in academic or scholarly publication I couldn’t understand. kindly give your opinions.

    7. Mark Janssen says:

      What’s needed is a parallel system to the current industrialism: a different system with it’s own set of rules, currency, and enforcement. This will create the necessary balance.

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