Knowledge is essential for so many human activities and values, including freedom, the exercise of political power, and economic, social and personal development.
Patents, copyright laws and other regulations and economic systems that concern the creation, management and governance of knowledge exist within a broader social framework.
KEI is concerned about fairness and access to knowledge, and also recognizes the importance of creative and inventive communities. To reconcile the interests of the public and creative and inventive communities, KEI sometimes supports, proposes or promotes new paradigms for the creation and management of knowledge resources.
Knowledge goods are different from physical goods and services in that they can be copied, and shared without rivalry in consumption. In theory, knowledge does not have to be a scarce resource. The rich and the poor can be more equal with regard to knowledge goods than is the case for many other goods.
In recent years, KEI has focused on reading disabilities, terms of copyright, copyright limitations & exceptions, intellectual property enforcement and remedies to infringement, knowledge as public goods, including open access to publicly funded research.