Cheng-Chi (Kirin) Chang


This article discusses the two justifications that are commonly used in intellectual property law: the semiotic democracy and the traditional personality theory of intellectual property. Semiotic democracy emphasizes the right to distribute and access information and the democratization of institutions, practices, speech, dress, mannerisms, etc., while the personality theory of intellectual property emphasizes the development of the personality and the protection of the creator's dignity and personhood. However, this paper highlights some objections to the personality theory, including the unclear moral claim of creators to their feelings, character traits, and experiences and that intellectual property creations may not embody more of a creator's personality than another object. De- spite these objections, the personality theory of intellectual property rights is important for the protection of the creators' reputation and their economic interests. Therefore, policymakers must strive to protect these rights to the greatest extent possible.