Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jessica Silbey's The Eureka Myth

Jessica Silbey (Suffolk Law) has posted an excerpt from the introduction of her new book, The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators, and Everyday Intellectual Property (Stanford University Press). Everything I have heard about this project has sounded incredibly interesting, and the introduction has further whetted my appetite to read the book.

She conducted "fifty face-to-face interviews . . . with a wide range of scientists, engineers, musicians and artists, their business associates, and intellectual property lawyers over the course of four years . . . . to learn more about the intersection of intellectual property law on the one hand, and creative and innovative work on the other." "Contrary to the dominant stories of monetary incentives and wealth maximiation, the interviews in this book elaborate intellectual property's diverse functions and sporadic manifestations in the lives and work of artists, scientists, and their business partners and managers."

Silbey has also posted a separate chapter (from the SAGE Handbook of Intellectual Property) based on the same set of qualitative interviews: Promoting Progress: A Qualitative Analysis of Creative and Innovative Production. The chapter "investigates the notion of 'progress' in terms of the motives the interviewees provide for engaging in creative and innovative behavior that is (or could be) protected as intellectual property. Across the interviews, there are common themes that tie together specific notions of progress as related to personal desires as well as public benefits."

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