Yours, Mine, Ours: A plea against modern notions of intellectual property rights and the decline of the commons of ideas

Hyde's book.

The connection between copyright and creation feels natural, but as Lewis Hyde’s commanding Common As Air:Revolution, Art, and Ownership eloquently argues, current copyright law and the regime of intellectual property rights are anything but natural, or even deeply historical.  Intellectual property, Hyde argues, “is an idea not just new but historically strange. It belongs to our time, to be sure, but if we are to examine it with any care it helps to know how new it really is; it’s newer than automobiles, newer than light bulbs, newer than jazz.’’ Hyde argues that our current notions of intellectual rights threaten the integrity of civil society. In a culture where everything is demanded as a right, nothing is considered a duty.

You can find my review of Hyde’s book here.


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