Pirates, Parasites, Reapers, Sowers, Fruits, Foxes . . . The Metaphors of Intellectual Property
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 211-226, 2006
17 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2006
This article examines metaphor, its legal context and its communicative power within that context. It briefly traces the existing literature on the general use of metaphor in legal writing and then turns to the specific area of intellectual property, noting the distinction between metaphor that is 'on the surface' of the language and conventional or 'submerged' metaphor. Both the surface and the submerged metaphors of intellectual property are examined, with a particular emphasis on the latter, analysing the scope and potential rhetorical effect of certain specific metaphors which are not absolutely unique to intellectual property writing but which are very closely associated with it (as for example, the terms 'pirates' and 'parasites' for unauthorised users of copyright works and the comparison of authors and inventors to farmers who 'reap' and 'sow' and deserve the 'fruits' of their labours).
Keywords: Intellectual property, legal theory
JEL Classification: O34, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation