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Terms of Use

Terms of Use: Negotiating the Jungle of the Intellectual Commons

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Terms of Use
    Book Description:

    Terms of Useis one of the first books to concentrate on the conceptual foundations of the public domain.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8925-1
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction: Inside Law’s Outside
    (pp. 3-12)

    Why is it that we find it so easy to make private property out of resources in culture and nature and so hard to value them when they are held in common and shared with others, that is, when they constitute the public domain? Perhaps even more critically, why is it that our language does not seem to provide us with enough words, metaphors, and symbols to challenge such an imbalance?¹

    During the past few years, questions like these have taken on a new urgency. Ubiquitous digitization and a general globalization of the economy make knowledge, culture, and information the...

  5. Chapter One ‘From Time Immemorial’: Customary Rights, Rites of Custom
    (pp. 13-46)

    In 1700 England still consisted of large tracts of open fields, pastures and grazing lands, but by 1840 most of it had been fenced in and made into private property.¹ Beginning in earnest with the Statute of Merton in 1235, enclosure continued piecemeal during many centuries to reach its high point in the twenty-year period between 1765 and 1785.² On the surface, it seems to be a process only anecdotally related to the scramble for control over biodiversity. Arguably it provides few clues as to how stuffed or living jungle animals transformed and shaped the new public spaces of museums...

  6. Chapter Two ‘Drugs of Virtues the Most Rare’: Plants, Patents, and the Public Good
    (pp. 47-76)

    ‘In the beginning, all the World wasAmerica,’¹ wrote John Locke inTwo Treatises. Like Gerrard Winstanley, Locke gave God credit for the richness of land.² Since the spontaneous hand of nature produces both fruit and beasts, ‘no body has originally a private Dominion, exclusive of the rest of Mankind, in any of them, as they are thus in their natural state.’³ Nowhere had God been more munificent than in the New World, where, as Locke saw it,Americanswere furnished ‘as liberally as any other people, with the materials of Plenty,i.e. a fruitful Soil, apt to produce in...

  7. Chapter Three ‘Telegraphic Address: “The Jungle,” 166 Piccadilly’: Taxidermy and the Spectacle of the Public Sphere
    (pp. 77-108)

    On 6 July 1887, Rowland Ward (1848–1912) of Rowland Ward & Co., at that time London’s leading big game taxidermy business, filed for patent 9545 at the Patent Office.¹ There is something utterly intriguing about the exotic abstraction in the brief promise of a process for the ‘treatment of rhinocerous hide and its manufacture into articles of furniture and ornament.’ For anyone who, like myself, would like to know more about this idiosyncratic patent, the trail unfortunately runs cold even before it begins. The only subsequent record that exists in the British Library is the brief entry in the...

  8. Chapter Four ‘I am Two Mowglis’: Kipling, Disney, and a Lesson in How to Use (and Abuse) the Public Domain
    (pp. 109-140)

    Simon Schama begins his magisterial volumeLandscape and Memory(1995) with a poignant recollection from childhood. ‘It was only when I got to secondary school,’ he writes, ‘that I realized I wasn’t supposed to like Rudyard Kipling. This was a blow.’¹ Made all the more vivid by its directness, the first sentence gives an idea of Schama’s gradual recognition – on the brink of adolescence – that this is a writer one really should not like. The second reveals the intensity of emotion following that initial insight; a profound, almost gut-wrenching sadness at the realization that the very books that so enthralled...

  9. Conclusion: Into the Common World
    (pp. 141-160)

    In the introduction, I set out to provide an alternative imaginative space by which to conceptualize and think about the public domain. Drawing on Julie E. Cohen’s idea of the public domain as a cultural landscape, I placed my own narrative in the definitive ‘locale of the primitive’:¹ the jungle. It was never my intention to write about the jungle per se, but rather to rely on its multifaceted imagery of primitivism, biological abundance, and cultural pervasiveness to suggest an innovative framework for future discussions on the public domain and the commons. Each chapter followed a chronological timeline from the...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 161-186)
  11. References
    (pp. 187-206)
  12. Index
    (pp. 207-223)