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About the Author

Inclui os nomes: Lewis Hyde, Lewes Hyde

Obras de Lewis Hyde

Associated Works

The Essays of Henry D. Thoreau (ed. Lewis Hyde) (2002) — Editor — 76 cópias
Letters to a Young Poet / The Letter from the Young Worker (2011) — Introdução, algumas edições29 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Commons are places and resources for which there are multiple users. Commons are the social relations which organize the use of resources. The commons are highly regulated, carrying various stints or limits to its use. Commons are not to be confused with unregulated resources, as in Hardin’s tale of the tragedy of the commons should formally be called tragedy of the unregulated resources. This book is about the cultural commons, the intellectual use of the arts and innovations.

Commons have certain kinds of property rights, limiting or specifying how the various users can utilize the resource. Intellectual property rights, those denoting mostly copyrights and patents are the core of this book. Property being defined as a right of action. A bundle of rights which the user could and could not do with the property. The agency of nonowners, such as exclusion, is part of the potential bundle. Property rights are expressed as a privilege of society, not a natural right that the authors and inventors have.

The limitations on use of resources are created to have a sustainable supply of resources. Resources are scarce, limitations on use makes sure that the resources are sustainable, or at least the future will have enough of the resources. Intellectual resources such as ideas, are not scarce but are infinite. The initial limitation of the use of the intellectual resources is to have a constant stream of new ideas and creations. For a limited time, the inventor gets a patent for bringing the invention to the public, and receives a reward. The initial copyrights and patents were designed with a framework for the betterment of society, that the creative ideas help all society when brought to the public.

Epistemology, the history of thought on ownership of ideas, and the evolution of ideas are heavily detailed. Ancient times did not see ideas being authored by authors, but some mystical third party using the author as a vessel to commentate the idea. The third party narrative meant that idea were not protected and owned by the authors or inventors, they became common as soon as the idea was communicated. The evolution of ideas from past ideas replaced mystic origins. Creativity builds on other creative works, making the ideas very common to all.

The struggle for of intellectual property rights is between how to make sure that creative persons earn a reward for their ideas while allowing the public to utilize the ideas. Patents and copyrights removed the dependency of the creative person on a patron for income, enabling everyone to receive a reward for their work. The copyright is monopoly power, a privilege and not a right. The copyright was limited to a limited duration of about 14 years, once renewable. The time frame allowed the inventor to benefit, and showed when the invention can be used without a payment to the inventor, making it public use.

Hyde makes the case that copyrights for intellectual pursuits, for cultural pursuits, are now too exclusive. Excessively exclusionary intellectual property, such as essays, music, and genetics, make many afraid to use property in their own work, creating an inability to improve on them for the betterment of society. Non-corporate owners, individual copyrights now get lifetime plus 70 years, meaning that the dissemination of information and knowledge is highly restricted. Many cultural icons such as Martin Luther King’s essay speech, have so many restrictions and payments which prevent the speech from being used by the public.

Cultural commons are important for a self-governing nation of citizens, citizens who actively make their government. A constantly changing culture prevents citizens from being just the audience to government, while highly exclusionary intellectual property rights limit the ability of citizens to shape the culture. Democracy requires an informed public while many debates cannot be held without the dissemination of knowledge.

An eloquently written book which is not against property rights, for Hyde takes great measures to show that property rights for ideas are needed in society. But, current property rights prevent the very reason property rights were formed, for the benefit of society. One way to correct the current stranglehold on intellectual pursuits is limit the term of property right for the statistical commercial value. Many projects commercial value is lost within a certain time frame. Using that time frame as a base would provide the author and innovator with all the rewards of their work and enable the public to benefit afterwards.
… (mais)
Eugene_Kernes | outras 5 resenhas | Jun 4, 2024 |
Mauss, Karl Marx, patent, property laws, fables, religious texts, money lending, Martin Luther, economy; but the main substance of the book is about the poets, Walt Whitman (an analysis and poetry being a gift of the soul), and Ezra Pound (a biography describing how he sent money, clothes, and letters to help his friends). Ezra Pound described the state of writing "tranced fixation"(reflecting Kerouac, who said "Never revise" and reputedly wrote On the Road in a single two-week sitting).
The book ends with the puzzle of how to support creative work in the present moment; the disconnect between the practice of art and common forms of earning a living.… (mais)
AChild | outras 10 resenhas | Sep 21, 2023 |
Libro ricco e complesso che aiuta a interpretare il ruolo delle dinamiche del dono (e dello scambio, della compra-vendita, dell'usura) nella società in generale e nella pratica artistica in particolare. Nella prima parte si sviluppa il concetto di dono in termini generali, passando per le fiabe, la vita tribale, il luteranesimo e la parità/disparità di genere, con considerazioni sempre estremamente utili. Nella seconda parte si applicano i concetti emersi alle vite e all'opera di due poeti, Walt Whitman ed Ezra Pound, ricavando ulteriori osservazioni, mai banali e mai troppo assertive (Hyde ha anche il merito di ripensare a quanto scrive e cambiare magari opinione). Una lettura estremamente utile, non solo e non tanto per gli artisti (come la copertina vuol fare credere) ma a chiunque sia interessato ad approfondire un centrale tema antropologico quale è quello del dono.… (mais)
d.v. | outras 10 resenhas | May 16, 2023 |
Outstanding. Erudite and charming, this book achieve’s the ultimate goal of a first rate work of nonfiction: it immediately leads the reader to read more on its subject. Tremendous insights into the nature of memory and how memory works best in tandem with forgetting.
saschenka | Jun 26, 2022 |



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