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Common As Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership
     

Common As Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership

4.7 4
by Lewis Hyde
 

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In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Thirty years later his son registered the words ‘I Have a Dream’ as a trademark and successfully blocked attempts to reproduce these four words. Unlike the Gettysburg Address and other famous speeches, ‘I Have a Dream’ is now private property, even though

Overview

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Thirty years later his son registered the words ‘I Have a Dream’ as a trademark and successfully blocked attempts to reproduce these four words. Unlike the Gettysburg Address and other famous speeches, ‘I Have a Dream’ is now private property, even though some the speech is comprised of words written by Thomas Jefferson, a man who very much believed that the corporate land grab of knowledge was at odds with the development of civil society. Exploring the complex intersection between creativity and commerce, Hyde raises the question of how our shared store of art and knowledge might be made compatible with our desire to copyright everything, and questions whether the fruits of creative labour can – or should – be privately owned, especially in the digital age. ‘In what sense,’ he writes, ‘can someone own, and therefore control other people’s access to, a work of fiction or a public speech or the ideas behind a drug?’ Moving deftly between literary analysis, history and biography (from Benjamin Franklin’s reluctance to patent his inventions to Bob Dylan’s admission that his early method of songwriting was largely comprised of ‘rearranging verses to old blues ballads, adding an original line here or there… slapping a title on it’), Common As Air is a stirring call-to-arms about how we might concretely legislate for a cultural commons that would simultaneously allow for financial reward and protection from monopoly. Rigorous, informative and riveting, this is a book for anyone who is interested in the creative process.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908526052
Publisher:
Union Books
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
570 KB

Meet the Author

Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator and cultural critic. A MacArthur Fellow, Hyde is the Richard. L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College and is a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Centre for Internet and Society.

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Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Humboldt-linotype More than 1 year ago
Hyde's primary concern is the increasing privatization of intellectual property, that he persuasively demonstrates runs against the values of several Founders, and the Enlightenment generally. Particularly timely in view of legislative controversies and the octopus-like extensions of some commercial entities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago