Dec 8, 2011

Madison on "Knowledge Curation"

Michael Madison (Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Law) has posted his recent article titled "Knowledge Curation", published in the Notre Dame Law Review, on SSRN:


This Article addresses conservation, preservation, and stewardship of knowledge, and laws and institutions in the cultural environment that support those things. Legal and policy questions concerning creativity and innovation usually focus on producing new knowledge and offering access to it. Equivalent attention rarely is paid to questions of old knowledge. To what extent should the law, and particularly intellectual property law, focus on the durability of information and knowledge? To what extent does the law do so already, and to what effect? This article begins to explore those questions. Along the way, the article takes up distinctions among different types of creativity and knowledge, from scholarship and research to commercial entertainment and so-called “User Generated Content”; distinctions among objects, works of authorship, and legal rights accompanying both; distinctions among creations built to last (sometimes called “sustained” works), creations built for speed (including “ephemeral” works), and creations barely built at all (works closely tied to the authorial “self”); and distinctions between analog and digital contexts.

Prof. Madison has a number of interesting things to say about culture, creativity and technology. He I think pays too little attention to the rule role cultural heritage laws play in the stewardship of knowledge and heritage, but he acknowledges the piece asks more questions than it answers. In examining how we decide what to save and "curate" from our past, it perhaps offers yet another implicit reason for increased attention to heritage awareness and protection, highly recommended.
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