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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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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

The Genius Which Conceived & the Toil Which Compiled the Book

The Genius Which Conceived & the Toil Which Compiled the Book

(p.59) 2 The Genius Which Conceived & the Toil Which Compiled the Book
Working Knowledge

Catherine L. Fisk

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the law and practice of copyright ownership in the three sectors of the antebellum American economy where copyright disputes arose: law publishing, theater, and map publishing. These were also the three sectors that continued to produce the majority of the employer–employee copyright disputes for much of the nineteenth century. Judges developed rules to protect employee-authors because they were persuaded by the morality of saving creative geniuses from improvident bargains. Judges also considered it economically expedient for a new country that wished to cultivate its own homegrown culture industry to protect the rights of the author who worked for hire. Later in the century, the arguments of economic expedience seemed to favor the employer, but in the antebellum period the moral claims of the author coincided perfectly with the economic incentives for protecting the author's rights to the fruits of creative work.

Keywords:   copyright ownership, antebellum American economy, copyright disputes, law publishing, theater, map publishing

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