I just finished reading:
No Trespassing – Authorship, Intellectual Property Rights and the Boundaries of Globalization by Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
She is absolutely incredible and the book is a great introduction to the complexities of intellectual property from a humanities perspective. Some of my high points are the chapter on the history of the copy machine and it’s implications, the explanation of the Swedish term for intellectual property immaterialrätt (law of the immaterial/intangible) and the impact of the trend for corporation merges in the 90’s and it’s clear transformation of intellectual property in an asset. She also contra points constantly how intellectual property law turns it back on traditional and oral knowledge which would benefit developing countries towards ideas of authorship and ownership.
On a related side note, there seems to be an international trend for NGO’s at south america at least to try to find ways to protect indigenous knowledge that is being routinely appropriated by corporations ( which then patent it) without having to submit to western views of knowledge that only recognize ownership through authorship. In the case of these tribes, they don’t want to claim authorship for something that they believe should be part of public domain but also don’t want to be excluded from it when a corporation decides to register it.