Putting Intellectual Property in its Place examines the relationship between creativity and intellectual property law on the premise that, despite concentrated critical attention devoted to IP law from academic, policy and activist quarters, its role as a determinant of creative activity is overstated. The effects of IP rights or law are usually more unpredictable, non-linear, or illusory than is often presumed. Through a series of case studies focusing on nineteenth century journalism, "fake" art, plant hormone research between the wars, online knitting communities, creativity in small cities, and legal practice, the authors discuss the many ways people comprehend the law through information and opinions gathered from friends, strangers, coworkers, and the media. They also show how people choose to share, create, negotiate, and dispute based on what seems fair, just, or necessary, in the context of how their community functions in that moment, while ignoring or reimagining legal mechanisms. In this book authors Murray, Piper, and Robertson define "the everyday life of IP law", constituting an experiment in non-normative legal scholarship, and in building theory from material and located practice.
Laura J. Murray is Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Queen's University. Her work in Indigenous Studies and American Literary History informs her work on copyright law. With Samuel E. Trosow, she is author of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide (2007, 2013).
S. Tina Piper is Assistant Professor of Law at McGill University. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of Oxford explored the relationship between the professionalization of U.K. physicians and their Intellectual Property practices. She has also published on IP practices in the Canadian military, and on how present-day independent music labels in Montreal use and avoid IP law.
Kirsty Robertson is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Museum Studies in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Western Ontario. Her research focuses on activism, visual culture, and changing economies. Her co-edited volume Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture and Activism in Canada was released in 2011.