Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property
Creative Production in Legal and Cultural Perspective
Rules regulating access to knowledge are no longer the exclusive province of lawyers and policymakers and instead command the attention of anthropologists, economists, literary theorists, political scientists, artists, historians, and cultural critics. This burgeoning interdisciplinary interest in “intellectual property” has also expanded beyond the conventional categories of patent, copyright, and trademark to encompass a diverse array of topics ranging from traditional knowledge to international trade. Though recognition of the central role played by “knowledge economies” has increased, there is a special urgency associated with present-day inquiries into where rights to information come from, how they are justified, and the ways in which they are deployed.
Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property, edited by Mario Biagioli, Peter Jaszi, and Martha Woodmansee, presents a range of diverse—and even conflicting—contemporary perspectives on intellectual property rights and the contested sources of authority associated with them. Examining fundamental concepts and challenging conventional narratives—including those centered around authorship, invention, and the public domain—this book provides a rich introduction to an important intersection of law, culture, and material production.
“Here's a simple prayer: Let no new law regarding ‘intellectual property’ be passed until all legislators have absorbed the treasures contained in this wonderful collection of essays.”
“Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property gathers a wonderful collection of essays on the theme of intellectual property: its origins, its practices and materialities, its preoccupations, its assumptions and ways of thinking, its limitations and effects, and its alternatives. Filled with fascinating research and clear insights, this book will be of great importance not only to intellectual property scholars but to those in many of the disciplines that engage this subject, including literature, film studies, business law, and the history of science. The body of innovative work presented here will become a key reference point for scholars over the next decade.”
“I have little doubt that this collection—with its wide-ranging, multidisciplinary approach—will join the ranks of intellectual property’s most defining works. A lucid survey of the field, Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property will serve as a point of entry for readers of various disciplines interested in going beyond the popular but often unsophisticated and uninformed debates around general intellectual property. The essays presented here illuminate in deep ways the genealogy and nature of the questions posed by IP, while engaging in diverse methodologies. Insightful, smart, and great fun, this book will be extremely useful for intellectual property’s rich history and current predicaments.”