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Series

Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

2007

Intellectual Property Law

Entrepreneurship

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“An Ingenious Man Enabled By Contract”: Entrepreneurship And The Rise Of Contract, Catherine Fisk Jan 2007

“An Ingenious Man Enabled By Contract”: Entrepreneurship And The Rise Of Contract, Catherine Fisk

Faculty Scholarship

A legal ideology emerged in the 1870s that celebrated contract as the body of law with the particular purpose of facilitating the formation of productive exchanges that would enrich the parties to the contract and, therefore, society as a whole. Across the spectrum of intellectual property, courts used the legal fiction of implied contract, and a version of it particularly emphasizing liberty of contract, to shift control of workplace knowledge from skilled employees to firms while suggesting that the emergence of hierarchical control and loss of entrepreneurial opportunity for creative workers was consistent with the free labor ideology that dominated ...