Commercializing Academic Freedom: R&D, Technology Transfer, Patents, and Copyrights

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Stephen Petrina
Lorraine Weir


In 1983, the National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest was formed "to bring extra-academic pressure to bear upon university administrations who were selling out their colleagues and the public in the pursuit of corporate partnerships" and "to galvanize student and faculty opposition to the corporatization of their institutions, chronicling the consequences of this trend while aiding those who suffered abuse and retribution for refusing to go along" (Noble, 2002, pp. ix-x) Twenty years hence, this type of vigilance in defending the public interest continues to inspire radical labor and collective activism in academic workplaces. At stake is who decides what and when public knowledge ought to be disclosed. The corporatization of universities may mean the commercialization of academic freedom along with IPRs.

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