Deviant Globalization: The Next Step in the Multilateral Protection of Intellectual Property


  • Doris Estelle Long



Deviant globalization is a "powerful engine of wealth creation ...[P]articipating in deviant globalization is often an individual’s fastest ticket out of poverty and a way for an entire community to experience economic development.” Although some aspects of deviant globalization undeniably include illegal conduct, such “illegality is not necessarily criminal or even unsavory in nature. “Deviant globalization” in the intellectual property arena serves as a powerful force for the creation of revised standards of protection. It serves both a predictive and a normative function. It serves a predictive function because it incorporates the experimental standards we are already witnessing in domestic and international efforts to re-invent intellectual property standards for the 21st Century. It serves a normative function because it creates a new normative standard that incorporates social and economic norms from the informal market into formal normative values against which decisions regarding intellectual property standards can be evaluated and revised. With its emphasis on trade and innovation across socio-economic levels, and its focus on unmet consumer demands, deviant globalization based standards would bring new understandings of the relationship between compensation, access, and distributional innovation in present intellectual property debates. More effective support for distributional innovation under deviant globalization does not require that the needs of intellectual property owners be ignored. However, it does require that their interests be re-balanced with those of sellers and consumers. By focusing on compensation streams, deviant globalization puts the economic viability of piracy into play, not its moral necessity. Regulation is not the enemy of deviant globalization. Irrational regulation is. Some experiments in crafting effective deviant globalization models will undoubtedly fail. Yet even such failures will be useful in recalibrating present international norms so that intellectual property protection can continue to provide the innovative foundation for a vibrant, socially just, global marketplace for the 21st Century.