Information as Business Asset in the Globalized Economy: Legal and Judicial Notes (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

In today’s globalized economy, the way people store, reformulate and process information – and eventually generate revenues out of it, had marked the shift of attention from a raw material-based and labor-exploiting business to the information and knowledge-based entrepreneurship. Information is increasingly becoming not only a buzz-word for executives but also the goose that lays the golden eggs.

In response to this trend, this paper attempts to do two things; first, revisiting the notion of information as a business asset, and secondly, analyzing how this notions is responded by the law. The first part seeks to reconfirm that information is the new big thing in today’s business that is characterized by globalization, digitization and deregulation of rules. The second describes and analyzes how the law –notably at the judges’ hands– contributes to the strengthening of this notion by tendency to recognize the proprietary status of information – something that is not so well established just yet.

The thesis here is that the law is in a changing mode. International and Malaysian cases are referred. It is argued that the lawmakers and all law stakeholders should give a serious thought about this so as to reshape the law into the more information age-friendly one.

* This paper was presented at the 4th World Congress of the Association of Global Business Advancement, 21-25 May 2007, Penang, Malaysia.

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