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Book Review

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Carswell Co.




This book is an interdisciplinary marvel. Its focus on creative communities and their practices avoids the frequent pitfalls of intellectual property (IP) scholarship: a myopic focus on the utilitarian and economic theories of IP. The authors acknowledge these dominant themes in much of IP scholarship, but they deliberately take a different tract. As such, this book cannot help but be generous and broad-minded in both its subject matter and range of detail. The authors, a trio of academics - two in the humanities and one in law - set out to explore how creative communities work, theorizing (and they turned out to be right) that creative and innovative practices within communities are contingent on time and place. They posit that creativity and innovation progresses differently within particular communities - be it the knitting community (chapter 3), journalists (chapter 5) or potters (chapter 7) - as each develops its own culturally specific practice. According to the communities studied in this book, the mechanisms and motives for making art and promoting science do not come from property incentives such as those that intellectual property intends to provide. They come from professional rela- tionships, personal desires and community needs, which are all particular to a circumscribed time-space coordinate. Diversely shaped and functioning markets form within these networks of people, and art and science occur and circulate in discernible patterns within and beyond them.

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