Carla Hesse, "Intellectual Property, 700 B.C. to a.d. 2000," Daedalus (Spring 2002), 26-45.

The Spring issue of Daedalus has a very fine article (available in PDF!) on the history of intellectual property. I can't recommend this highly enough for the "big-picture" overview of where such concepts come from and how they've evolved.

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