Over at The Millions, I’ve got a post on Lewis Hyde and his absurdly overlooked “Frames from the Framers: How America’s Revolutionaries Imagined Intellectual Property.” It’s a great essay with real-world relevance—both to downloading music, which Hyde examines in the essay itself, and to the Google Books settlement, which he takes up (with some of the same quotes and ideas) in this recent NYTBR essay.
I’m actually working on a longer story on Google Books (more specifically, on its covert scanning operations in . . . Indiana!), and I’m starting to think that Hyde’s idealism might hamstring him there in the same way it does in his “Frames from the Framers.” But we need more idealists, not fewer.
You can download Hyde’s entire essay here.