Ken Adelman
Vice-President, Movers and Shakespeares
01:44

How do we protect intellectual property?

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Adelman believes it is crucial to reward those that innovate.

Ken Adelman

Ken Adelman is currently vice-president of Movers and Shakespeares, which conducts executive training through leadership lessons from Shakespeare. Ambassador Adelman began teaching Shakespeare in 1977 at Georgetown University, and later with honors students at George Washington University.

During the Reagan Administration, Ken Adelman was an Ambassador to the United Nations and then Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, accompanying President Reagan on his superpower summits with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Adelman was a philosophy major at Grinnell College and then attended Georgetown University, where he received a Masters in Foreign Service Studies and Doctorate in Political Theory.

He is the author of five books -- including co-author of Shakespeare in Charge -- and hundreds of articles, was for 20 years national editor of Washingtonian magazine, and for six years a member of the Defense Policy Board. 

While living in Africa from 1972 to 1975, Adelman translated for Mohammed Ali during “The Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship fight in Zaire, and participated in the Zaire River Expedition, venturing down the Congo River on the 100th Anniversary of Stanley’s exploration.

Transcript

Ken Adelman: Well IP just contains all innovation. So what you need to do is preserve . . . Those who are innovative get the heavenly reward for being innovative. And the founding fathers put that in the Constitution. It’s interesting. Everybody talks about the rights of people. This right, that right. I went to a graduation, and my wife got a doctorate in public health, and the speaker said, “You have a right to good health.” I was saying, “What are they talking about? They’ve lost their minds. That means I’m never going to have a tooth decay? I’m never going to have a stomach ache? I have a right to, you know, not have cancer or something? Who’s going to give me these rights?” The only right that is spelled out in the Constitution is the copyright. And what it says is those who innovate should get the reward for their innovation. For copyright, for patents, and general IP on that. And Lincoln was a big believer in this. In fact, Lincoln took out some patents. And he loved the idea of that. So when you think to yourself, “What could encourage innovation,” a lot of conventional thinkers would say, “Oh! Just for the government to spend a lot more money on R&D.” The farmer says, “Well that’s fine, but the best thing we can do to spread R&D is not to spend any money, but to provide it so that the creators get to keep what they have.”

Recorded on: 7/2/07


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