Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
This Is Enlightenment$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Clifford Siskin and William Warner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226761473

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226761466.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

The Piratical Enlightenment

The Piratical Enlightenment

(p.301) The Piratical Enlightenment
This Is Enlightenment

Adrian Johns

University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows how eighteenth-century German states, as net importers of intellectual property, found that piracy—the free reproduction of books first published by others—could support the Enlightenment ideal of free and open access to knowledge. However, the ensuing debate about the comparative value of a restricted copyright (the English system) and liberal reprinting (German piracy) not only implicates the mediation of Enlightenment (where piracy offers robust circulation of knowledge) but also bears upon what became the most important positive rational for seeing writing as an expression of the self: the idea that the writer is a genius, whose distinct form of thought emerges from a unique self. Ownership in the form of copyright became the primary way of instituting this connection between writing and genius.

Keywords:   German states, intellectual property, piracy, knowledge access, copyright, mediation, self, writing, genius

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.