Books

Piracy : the intellectual property wars from Gutenberg to Gates

Author / Creator
Johns, Adrian
Available as
Online
Physical
Summary

Since the rise of Napster and other file sharing services in its wake, most of us have assumed that intellectual piracy is a product of the digital age and that it threatens creative expression as ...

Since the rise of Napster and other file sharing services in its wake, most of us have assumed that intellectual piracy is a product of the digital age and that it threatens creative expression as never before. The Motion Picture Association of America, for instance, claimed that in 2005 the film industry lost $2.3 billion in revenue to piracy online. But here the author shows that piracy has a much longer and more vital history than we have realized, one that has been largely forgotten and is little understood. This work explores the intellectual property wars from the advent of print culture in the fifteenth century to the reign of the Internet in the twenty-first. Brimming with broader implications for today's debates over open access, fair use, free culture, and the like, this book ultimately argues that piracy has always stood at the center of our attempts to reconcile creativity and commerce, and that piracy has been an engine of social, technological, and intellectual innovations as often as it has been their adversary. The book swarms throughout with characters of genius, principle, cunning, and outright criminal intent. In the wars over piracy, it is the victims, from Charles Dickens to Bob Dylan, who have always been the best known, but the principal players, the pirates themselves, have long languished in obscurity. It is their stories especially that are brought to life in these pages. From Cervantes to Sonny Bono, from Maria Callas to Microsoft, from Grub Street to Google, no chapter in the story of piracy evades the author's analysis.

"Piracy explores the intellectual property wars from the advent of print culture in the fifteenth century to the reign of the Internet in the twenty-first. Written with a historian's flair for narrative and sparkling detail, the book swarms throughout with characters of genius, principle, cunning, and outright criminal intent. In the wars over piracy, it is the victims - from Charles Dickens to Bob Dylan - who have always been the best known, but the principal players - the pirates themselves - have long languished in obscurity, and it is their stories especially that Johns brings to vivid life in these pages."--Jacket.

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Creator
Adrian Johns
Format
Books
Language
English
Publication
  • Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [2009]
  • ©2009
Physical Details
  • 626 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBNs
0226401200, 9780226401201, 9780226401195, 1282504274, 9786612504273, 9780226401188, 0226401189
OCLC
ocn317922618, ocn630115818, on1027308783, ocn590674165

  • Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • A general history of the pirates -- The invention of piracy -- The piratical enlightenment -- Experimenting with print -- Pharmaceutical piracy and the origins of medical patenting -- Of epics and orreries -- The land without property -- Making a nation -- The printing counterrevolution -- Inventors, schemers, and men of science -- International copyright and the science of civilization -- The first pirate hunters -- The great oscillation war -- Intellectual property and the nature of science -- The pirate at home and at large -- From phreaking to fudding -- Past, present, and future
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