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Festschrift for Eric von Hippel, Karim Lakhani and Dietmar Harhoff, eds. 2013, Forthcoming


Significant creative work – whether or not for commercial purposes – takes place in creative groups whose interactions are not primarily grounded either in market transactions in legally-defined intellectual property or in top-down task management, but are organized by some alternative governance regime. For creative groups, I argue here, legally-defined intellectual property is important for the most part only when they must negotiate a boundary between the group and outsiders. Though there are parallels to some of these boundary situations in the paradigmatic context of the atomistic individual or firm, here I will focus particularly on the ways in which boundary issues play out for creative groups organized under alternative information governance regimes. Part 1 of this chapter discusses why creative groups might choose to opt out of the legally-defined intellectual property regime for purposes of their internal interactions. Part 2 explains why intellectual property raises special concerns when such groups navigate boundary situations. Part 3 concludes with a call for more research attention to these issues.

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patents, user innovation, intellectual property