"Common as Air": The argument against intellectual property

Slide show: Lewis Hyde's new book attacks the notion that all ideas should be owned. A review in cartoon form

Published August 24, 2010 12:20AM (EDT)

Barnes & Noble ReviewLewis Hyde's seminal work "The Gift," lauded by the likes of Margaret Atwood, David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Lethem, keenly examined the intersection of creativity, economics and culture in order to construct an argument for the essentialness of art in contemporary society. Over 25 years later, Hyde's theory of gift economy as the foil of market economy has become even more relevant in our confusing age of digital rights management and open source software. With his newest book, "Common as Air," Hyde has returned to offer a critique of the idea that all creative work is "intellectual property" and to elucidate and defend our "cultural commons."

By Ward Sutton

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