Johns 2009

From Whiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A General History of the Pirates

issues of piracy reach "to the defining elements of modern culture tiself: to science and technology; to authorship, authenticity, and credibility; to policing and politics; to the premises on which economic activity and social order rest" (3)

"What is at stake, in the end, is the nature of the relationship we want to uphold between creativity, communication, and commerce." (5)
"Telling the authorized and authentic from the unauthorized and spurious was only one necessary art for thriving in the world of print, but necessary it was. Being a good reader demanded this kind of critical expertise. Writ large, the possibility that print itself might uphold some kind of rational public depended on it, too." (9)

The Invention of Piracy

"Precisely when authorship took on a mantle of public authority, through the crafts of the printed book, its violation came to be seen as paramount transgression -- as an offense against the common good akin to the crime of the brigand, bandit, or pirate." (19)

medieval distinction between liberal and mechanical arts

  • Renaissance broke down these barriers; craft guilds with intellectual pursuits

pirate: use arose in English Revolution; previously, Donne had referred to antiquarian plagiarists as "wit-pyrats" (1611) (23), but

Stationers' Company:

  • SC could come look around printing houses for quality control
  • printing literally done in house by regulation -- domestic moral authority; pirated printing was done outside the house, in "holes" or "corners"
  • author and reader had no role (27)

Stationers' Register vs. Crown (privileges and patents)

  • 1624: Monopolies Act by Parliament; Crown could only issue patents for activities under its authority (like gunpowder) or where no trade already existed in the realm
  • thought to mark the origin of Anglo-American intellectual property; but "in context, its real target was this proliferation of Crown intervention in the realm's everyday commercial conduct" (28)

English Civil War

  • regulation out the window
  • Milton's Areopagitica, Gerrard Winstanley's pamphlets

restored Charles II "therefore viewed popular print with a queasy mixture of respect, unease, and fear" (30); "how to accommodate and exploit what was becoming a perpetual sphere of printed argument, in which the rules of knowledge were no longer those of university, court or palace" (30)

Richard Atkyns: claimed he was heir to lucrative patent on printing common law books, originally granted by Elizabeth I

  • SC challenged; some law books were already on the register from the Restoration era
  • Atkyns claimed book trade was responsible for Civil War; had to be taken over by gentlemen granted privileges from the crown
  • wanted Charles II to take over the printing press as property of the Crown;
  • rewrote a history of printing in England, such that it began as "an appendage of royal power" rather than private enterprise (33)
  • says the body (the trade) forgot/cut off the head (the Crown) (33)
  • likened printing patents to royal land grants -- Crown still owned land, but people oversaw it, kept people from poaching the deer (34)
  • short-won victory; book trade was given patents through SC

piracy; history of use (35-6)

The Piratical Enlightenment

Press act (1662): "Restoration-alliance between SC policing and state licensing"; 1695, William and Mary's Parliament allow this law to lapse (42)

  • suddenly anyone could pirate or print without being a member of SC
"This intractable confrontation between principles of monopoly and property -- between royal power and civil society -- ensured that the problem of print propriety remained simmering." (42)

1695-1710; no literary property; piracy became "everyday concept for London's writers and readers" (43)

pirates on the high seas, printer pirates who posed as commonswealthsmen, even Levellers (44); presented in public debates as "weakness, amorality, ambition and transgression" (45)

"A culture of piracy was one that could never be distinguished into two neat camps of the honorable and the dishonorable in the way that antagonists often professed to believe. Everyone involved was, to some extent, compromised. As a result, it was by no means straightforward to find a secure basis on which to asses the cacophony that was the printed realm. In practice, a panoply of strategies evolved to create, confirm, and contest the authenticity not only of books, but of medicines, machines, textiles, foodstuffs, and other creative goods. what an eighteenth-century citizen could be said to know, feel, or believe might depend on them. People found themselves living amid countless experiments in authenticity." (48)

public sphere shaped by piracy:

  • extended distribution of books
  • impact on kind, quality and price of books
  • which helped make books more portable, and therefore disposable and cheap
  • inadvertently and "paradoxically fostered an ethic of authenticity and completeness" (49)
    • "One of the ironies of an age of piracy is that it helped cement print's paradoxical association with both constancy and progressive change at once." (49)
    • "to the extent that these men [Rosseau, Hume, Voltaire, Newton, Sterne, et al.] achieved transcendence as authors, it was precisely because they engaged with the pirate realm at a mundane level and mastered its complexities." (49)

pirates as "vanguards of national economic prowess," encouraging home production of goods, and "advocates of laissez-faire" and "exemplars of free trade" (51-2)

Condorcet: book shouldn't be defined by author, but by category; tree of knowledge with people contributing to each branch (a journal); "a perpetual virtuous circulation" (2-3)

  • "The old world of a few large houses issuing authoritative editions could not survive. Those that endured were smaller, faster, newer." (53)
  • sounds like the internet!

Kant: author has inalienable property right in his/her work; publisher was merely a speaking trumpet mediating the process; pirates made authors answerable for meanings transmitted without consent -- violated public sphere & enlightenment itself

Experimenting with Print

Royal Society

"Register and periodical thus became twin bulwarks of a new form of learned practice, the anchors of experimental civility. Perusal gave rise to conversation; conversation inspired experiment; experiments led to reports and correspondence; and publication then restarted the cycle. Quite simply, this was how the experimental philosophy worked. Early modern science came into being as a self-sustaining process -- a kind of social perpetual motion machine that, in some respects, has not stopped turning ever since." (63)

when Oldenburg died, Hooke went through journal books looking for evidence of duplicity; scouring blank spaces in meeting minutes so that nothing new could be written in (68)

Society's civility requirements engendered dispute, then managed it through reading/perusal practices; "indeed, genteel civility itself -- of which Society manners were something of an offshoot -- implied not bland acquiescence in what one read, but constructive response to it" (69)

RS "did not so much eliminate priority disputes as render them implosive rather than explosive. It used them to force participants into greater engagement with each other and with the experimental community. they became structured affairs that followed a prescribed course designed to keep them in train and secure knowledge as their outcome. the perusal and registration system served this purpose. it made the priority dispute into the archetypal scientific controversy." (70)

RS trying to take some control over patents for crafts/mechanical inventions (71-2)

Pharmaceutical Piracy and the Origins of Medical Patenting

books and medicines treated similarly; apothecaries and authors portrayed as similar; bookshops often sold medicines, printers advertised medicines and ran workshops to prepare them (84)

"The conjunction of media and medica, as it were, was mundane and practical. And when the authenticity of medicines was called into question, the same people and the same places were implicated as those involved in issues of print piracy. It was from this conjunction that pharmaceutical patenting emerged. It did so partly as a mechanism to secure not property, but authenticity." (85)

Grew, treatise on salts

counterfeit medicine like counterfeit currency (91)

Moults claimed Grew had plagiarized Malpighi -- even gone to Padua in person and stolen Malpighi's work sheet by sheet as it came off the press (92); "how to decide which, if either, of the English books was authentic? Neither was quite the original, after all. If Grew had absconded with knowledge from Malpighi's printing house, moreover, was the original Anatomy of Plants his book?" (92)

"Ultimately, the patent was a device to secure trust at a distance. Empires could be built on it." (96)
"At the advent of medical patenting, then, not only did patenting itself emerge as a tactic -- as a challenge to counterfeits, not something challenged by them -- but the counterfeits also won out. Claims of strong authorship in medicaments did not prevail, despite the endorsements of the Royal Society and the College of Physicians." (97)

"trusting people and trusting things" was what was at stake (99)

"Another problem, even harder to deal with, was unauthorized reading, of the kind Grew's treatise on salt would get from lay patients. The impression of authority that pharmacopoeias conveyed would encourage readers to miss the actual variability of substances." (101)

Of Epics and Orreries

The Land without Property

Making a Nation

The Printing Counterrevolution

history of deposit libraries

"the linking of deposit with copyright threatened to turn the uniersity libraries into repositories not of learned and significant scholarship, but of the piratable. Attractiveness to pirates seemed to be the de facto axiom of Enlightenment archiving." (218)
"Since the seventeenth century bibliographia had come to mean the knowledge of books, by analogy to geographia. Such knowledge typically took one of two forms. One was discursive, embracing the state of a particular branch of learning; the other, which proved more lasting, was taxonomic, addressing hte classification and knowledge of books qua books. It centered on lists, called bibliothecae (libraries), which had multiplied after the invention of printing. the question they posed was how to organize, classify, and represent the world of printed knowledge. Answering it called for a new science. This science developed alongside those for classifying the natural world. Linnaeus -- and Gesner before him -- produced both. By Brydges's day the dream of a single universal reference source had long proved unrealizable, however. Even bibliographies of bibliographies were obsolete before they could see print. In response, bibliography came to mean a classificatory science not so much of knowledge as of the book: of typography, binding, and paper. this shift was partly a response to the upheavals of the French Revolution, which resulted in the dispersal of many collections and therefore a need to specify the details of particular volumes closely and systematically. Out of two revolutions -- the printing revolution and the French Revolution -- thus came a new, systematic science of the book." (231)

Flora Graeca, by John Sibthorp; mammoth project in Latin taking 34 yrs and 10 volumes; only ran in about 30 copies; 1825, British Museum sues for its free deposit copies, which would have been almost impossible to produce at that point; BM lost, because courts "determined that such a bijou publication was not a book at all"

Inventors, Schemers, and Men of Science

"projectors" --> "inventors" "natural philosophers" --> "scientists"

International Copyright and the Science of Civilization

Henry Carey

  • "electrical force in motion therefore became his archetype for societary circulation" (315)
  • "Having honed his skills in long years spent as a reader for his father's publishing house, he co-opted a way of reading that in private he called his "'copy-book' plan." This "plan" was in essence a version of the commonplacing used by earlier generations of scholars to cope with the daunting flow of books produced by printing. Commonplaces constituted Carey's version of scientific "observations." For marx this was his fatal flaw: he lambasted Carey for an "uncritical and superficial" shuffling of numbers, for "spurious erudition," and for an "atrocious lack of the critical faculty." But what to Marx was a maddening wewakness was for others an impressive empiricism, much needed in the arid field of political economy." (319)

see Carey's diagram of America, pg 321 -- notes the labor that goes into making books

The First Pirate Hunters

The Great Oscillation War

problem of figuring out who could be licensed as an "experimenter" in early radio

"As a result, the answer to the question of the experimenter turned out to be at once the simplest and most complex of all. There was no way to tell who was or was not an experimenter, nor to count how many there were. Or, to put it another way, everyone was an experimenter, at least potentially. In that case, radio took on a different role. It might be the trigger that could turn potential into actuality, taking dormant talents and enticing them into use." (380)

Intellectual Property and the Nature of Science

cybernetics, information systems; Wiener's account of thinkers vs. makers (425)

"Contrary to popular belief, there was in fact no quantum leap in scientific patenting in the 1980s. In the 1930s, some research institutions sought patents just as avidly as the likes of MIT and UCSD do now. ... it is not so much that pure science never existed, as that the idea that it could exist is one we owe to debates about intellectual property and piracy." (430)

The Pirate at Home and at Large

From Phreaking to Fudding

Past, Present, and Future

"In intellectual property, as in the disciplines at large, a reengagement with history is likely to play a central role in shaping the transformation that such a crisis entails. Indeed, this book has shown how revisions of history have already proved a notable feature of all major transitions in intellectual property thus far, from the invention of piracy through that of intellectual property. New accounts of the digital and biotech -- along with revisionist interpretations of the Gutenberg revolution -- herald another. Rather than adducing a discrete 'culture' defined by each given technology, they portray a practical, dynamic, and continuous interlacing of technologies and society. They furnish a kind of understanding that could underpin a revision of the proper relation between creativity and commerce." (517)