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The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this enlightening book James Boyle describes what he calls the range wars of the information age—todays 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 todays policies are unbalanced, unsupported by evidence, and often detrimental to cultural access, free speech, digital creativity, and scientific innovation.


Boyle identifies as a major problem the widespread failure to understand the importance of the public domain—the realm of material that everyone is free to use and share without permission or fee. The public domain is as vital to innovation and culture as the realm of material protected by intellectual property rights, he asserts, and he calls for a movement akin to the environmental movement to preserve it. With a clear analysis of issues ranging from Jeffersons philosophy of innovation to musical sampling, synthetic biology and Internet file sharing, this timely book brings a positive new perspective to important cultural and legal debates. If we continue to enclose the “commons of the mind,” Boyle argues, we will all be the poorer. 

About the Author

James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

Product Details

Boyle, James
Yale University Press
Intellectual Property - Copyright
Business & Financial
Intellectual Property - General
Law-Intellectual Property - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
1 b/w illus.
8.94 x 5.75 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Intellectual Property » Copyright
History and Social Science » Law » Intellectual Property » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science

The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300158342 Reviews:
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