The Public Domain

Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

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Author: James Boyle
Published: 2008
Language: English
Wordcount: 128,834 / 400 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 57.1
LoC Categories: K, Z
Downloads: 1,877
Added to site: 2008.12.14
mnybks.net#: 22861
Origin: gutenberg.org
License: by-nc-sa

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.

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A word about style. I am trying to write about complicated issues, some of which have been neglected by academic scholarship, while others have been catalogued in detail. I want to advance the field, to piece together the story of the second enclosure movement, to tell you something new about the balance between property and its opposite. But I want to do so in a way that is readable. For those in my profession, being readable is a dangerous goal. You have never heard true condescension until you have heard academics pronounce the word "popularizer." They say it as Isadora Duncan might have said "dowdy." To be honest, I share their concern. All too often, clarity is achieved by leaving out the key qualification necessary to the argument, the subtlety of meaning, the inconvenient empirical evidence. 17

My solution is not a terribly satisfactory one. A lot of material has been exiled to endnotes. The endnotes for each chapter also include a short guide to further reading. I hav

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