Intellectual “Property”

by on June 13, 2007 · 2 comments

Eugene Volokh points out the historical use of the term “property” to refer to literary works here.

I’ve defended the concept of “intellectual property” here and use of the phrase in the comments here.

Update: Wait! There’s more.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting, but “literary property” seems a more restrictive concept than “intellectual property” – references I see in Google Books are all about copyright, none on patents or trademarks. Interestingly, one of the first links on Google Books is to an 1838 treatise that appears to argue against granting copyright holders exclusive control over works imported from England.
    Google Books also shows 700 books containing the term “literary property” between 1800 and 1850, and only another 200 or so between 1850 and 1950. This may simply be an artifact of how Google is proceeding with their scanning project, or it could perhaps indicate a drop-off in usage of the term in the late 19th century, with rise of the new term “intellectual property” not occurring til the late 20th century.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting, but “literary property” seems a more restrictive concept than “intellectual property” – references I see in Google Books are all about copyright, none on patents or trademarks. Interestingly, one of the first links on Google Books is to an 1838 treatise that appears to argue against granting copyright holders exclusive control over works imported from England.
    Google Books also shows 700 books containing the term “literary property” between 1800 and 1850, and only another 200 or so between 1850 and 1950. This may simply be an artifact of how Google is proceeding with their scanning project, or it could perhaps indicate a drop-off in usage of the term in the late 19th century, with rise of the new term “intellectual property” not occurring til the late 20th century.

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