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Working KnowledgeEmployee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930$
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Catherine L. Fisk

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833025

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899069_fisk

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They Claim to Own Him, Body & Soul

They Claim to Own Him, Body & Soul

Chapter:
(p.137) 5 They Claim to Own Him, Body & Soul
Source:
Working Knowledge
Author(s):

Catherine L. Fisk

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807899069_fisk.11

This chapter focuses on litigation over control of the talent of singers, actors, writers, and others in popular entertainment from 1860 to 1895, which reflected an evolving understanding of the nature of creativity and the role of employment contracts in creating property rights in employee innovation. Creativity and its products became commodities. The scope of intellectual property expanded, especially in the area of copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Markets to sell intellectual property expanded in the growing consumer culture. These developments, combined with the transformation of working conditions and the rise of bureaucratic employment practices associated with factories and the emerging science of management, prompted firms to contract for ownership of employee innovations to an unprecedented degree.

Keywords:   litigation, popular entertainment, nature of creativity, employment contracts, property rights, employee innovation

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