The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

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by James Boyle
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0300158343

ISBN-13: 9780300158342

Pub. Date: 01/26/2010

Publisher: Yale University Press

In this enlightening book James Boyle describes what he calls the range wars of the information age—today’s heated battles over intellectual property. Boyle argues that just as every informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment or civil rights, every citizen should also understand intellectual property law. Why? Because

Overview

In this enlightening book James Boyle describes what he calls the range wars of the information age—today’s heated battles over intellectual property. Boyle argues that just as every informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment or civil rights, every citizen should also understand intellectual property law. Why? Because intellectual property rights mark out the ground rules of the information society, and today’s policies are unbalanced, unsupported by evidence, and often detrimental to cultural access, free speech, digital creativity, and scientific innovation.

Boyle identifies as a major problem the widespread failure to understand the importance of the public domain—the realm of material that everyone is free to use and share without permission or fee. The public domain is as vital to innovation and culture as the realm of material protected by intellectual property rights, he asserts, and he calls for a movement akin to the environmental movement to preserve it. With a clear analysis of issues ranging from Jefferson’s philosophy of innovation to musical sampling, synthetic biology and Internet file sharing, this timely book brings a positive new perspective to important cultural and legal debates. If we continue to enclose the “commons of the mind,” Boyle argues, we will all be the poorer. 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300158342
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/26/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
928,145
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface: Comprised of at Least Jelly? xi

1 Why Intellectual Property? 1

2 Thomas Jefferson Writes a Letter 17

3 The Second Enclosure Movement 42

4 The Internet Threat 54

5 The Farmers Tale: An Allegory 83

6 I Got a Mashup 122

7 The Enclosure of Science and Technology; Two Case Studies 160

8 A Creative Commons 179

9 An Evidence-Free Zone 205

10 An Environmentalism for Information 230

Notes and Further Readings 249

Index 297

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The Public Domain Enclosing the Commons of the Mind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
If the current regulatory mindset regarding intellectual property had existed when scientist Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web in 1989, the Internet might never have grown into the remarkable communication, entertainment and archival medium that it is today. Jazz and many other forms of music might never have come into being if governments were as strict decades ago about copyright law as they are now. Today, warns author James Boyle, huge swaths of the world's artistic and cultural heritage - books, photographs, films, musical recordings - are locked up in governmental and private libraries and unavailable for distribution to the general public. Why? No one can identify the copyright holders or their heirs to obtain permission to copy them. The number of such "orphan works" is staggering: more than 95% of all books ever printed, and equally high percentages of film and music. Should the government wall off these potential treasures to protect the rights of nameless individuals, most of whom either don't care or are dead? Boyle, an expert on intellectual property law, thinks not, and he explains why in this heated discussion about trends in his field. getAbstract recommends his illuminating book to writers, inventors, and anyone else involved in the creation of content, as well as to managers and executives who wish both to protect proprietary information and to encourage innovation.