Does Information Beget Information?
Professor R. Polk Wagner has recently propounded a theory in the Columbia Law Review, purportedly based on a mathematical model, showing that open information grows exponentially with time and that, to the extent that creator control and incentives are correlated, greater control in the creator (author or inventor) results in a larger supply of open information in the long run than less control. While Professor Wagner’s assumptions are open to serious question, this article demonstrates that Professor Wagner’s model does not, even on the basis of his stated assumptions, lead to the result he claims for it. Rather, his results derive from an unstated assumption that in fact simply assumes his conclusion. The article then goes on to show how we might approach a valid theory of information growth and that, whatever the theory might be, it is unlikely to come to us with the precision of mathematics.
Intellectual Property Law
Date of this Version
Dennis S. Karjala, "Does Information Beget Information?" (May 2, 2006). bepress Legal Series. bepress Legal Series.Working Paper 1315.