Document Type



The Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law




This article examines the previously unappreciated common ground between scholars and advocates who work to eliminate poverty, and scholars and advocates who work on intellectual property issues in the public interest. The article first illustrates how scholars and advocates working on poverty and on public interest intellectual property have relied on rights talk to frame their social movements. Under the conventional narrative, the framing has accentuated differences between the movements. As the Article explains, the two movements share core principles and should recognize shared interests and goals. By developing a new model of how to view public interest movements, the Article analyzes both social movements in a light that brings common ground to the fore. Using this reframed perspective, the Article then demonstrates the benefits of collaboration between the two social movements by offering three examples of how the two movements can productively work together.