Abolitionist Creativity and the Ethics of Care | University of Pittsburgh Law Review
In this Article, we articulate an abolitionist theory of emancipatory creativity that situates and transforms the role of intellectual property in the political economy. After exploring the material implications of this conceptual move, we propose a specific practical application of abolitionist principles, in the form of an expanded duty of care embedded in IP licenses. We orient this duty of care inside IP morals clauses, drawing connections between IP morals and an abolitionist ethic of care. With examples of how creative works and experimental IP licensing have been used with software, art, plant cultivars, and decentralized science, we identify how abolitionist creativity can help to create the life-affirming institutions called for by contemporary abolitionists.
Corporations’ wealth is increasingly built on intangible intellectual property rights rather than hard assets. What if we could hack these legal and economic codes that underping capitalism so that they are based on human rights, worker solidarity, ecological sustainability and community wealth building?
An invitation to creators to grant or withhold creative labor in solidarity with Palestine, and the launch of a new copyright license that conditions free use on a Duty of Care to Palestinian life, including the principles of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Illustration by Trey Brasher
Patenting psychedelics is the latest controversy in the debate over whether patents should apply to therapeutic methods, let alone knowledge long stewarded by Indigenous Peoples. Can a patent—a valorization of the individual inventor, the mythical creative genius alone at the workbench—properly recognize the collective and cumulative effort behind many innovations in the psychedelics space? What can we learn from the patent system's history of exclusion and reimagine how we use patents?