Harvesting Intellectual Property: Inspired Beginnings and 'Work-Makes-Work,' Two Stages in the Creative Processes of Artists and Innovators

43 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2011  

Jessica M. Silbey

Northeastern University School of Law

Date Written: December 19, 2011

Abstract

This Article is part of a larger empirical study based on face-to-face interviews with artists, scientists, engineers, their lawyers, agents, and business partners. The book-length project involves the collecting and analysis of stories from artists, scientists, and engineers about how and why they create and innovate. It also collects stories from their employers, business partners, managers, and lawyers about their role in facilitating the process of creating and innovating. The book’s aim is to make sense of the intersection between intellectual property law and creative and innovative activity, specifically to discern how intellectual property intervenes in the careers of the artists and scientists. This paper is an overview of the first two chapters of the book. The first is entitled “Inspired Beginnings” and explains how people describe the embarkation on a life’s work in art and science mostly as a function of intrinsic or serendipitous forces. The second chapter is entitled “The Work of Craft: Work Makes Work” and explores the varied ways the interviewees describe their daily work in terms of the pleasure of sitting in a defined space (lab, studio, study) and focusing on the details of a project. This second chapter also discusses how work is described in terms of natural metaphors (e.g. harvesting or fishing) and the possible ramifications of this rhetoric for intellectual property law and policy.

Keywords: intellectual property, copyright, trademark, patent, empirical legal studies, narrative, law and culture, popular consciousness, law and humanities

Suggested Citation

Silbey, Jessica M., Harvesting Intellectual Property: Inspired Beginnings and 'Work-Makes-Work,' Two Stages in the Creative Processes of Artists and Innovators (December 19, 2011). Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 86, p. 2091, 2011; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 11-60. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1974710

Jessica M. Silbey (Contact Author)

Northeastern University School of Law ( email )

400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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