[Truth to tell, I haven't written a scholarly paper in a long while, and I did feel rusty as I put it together. I don't think it is perfect. If I revise and resubmit to the Journal of the Copyright Society, I will try to fix and errors & omissions- if you happen to read it and spot something egregious, let me know. I greatly appreciate the help I received from listmembers on this. . Bearing down to start reading the new Autobiography (Vol 1) this weekend. Cheers. /DDD ]
The Marketing of Mark Twain-An Entrepreneur of Intellectual Property
David D. Davis
Copyright Clearance Center, Danvers MA
Published in The New England Journal of History, October 2010.
In addition to his journalism, travel writing, belletristic and expository prose written for publication as, essentially, a highly successful freelancer and lecturer working under the name "Mark Twain," Clemens also saw three of his inventions through to patent and bought a share in their inventions from the inventors of several more. Further, he created "brands" and trademarks, provided for the licensing of his stage persona as well that of his image and likeness through the mechanism of The Mark Twain Company, Inc. Arguably, he even had trade secrets he sought to protect; for example, the canvassing techniques he deployed in order to maximize sales of the General Grant Memoirs. Clemens' involvement in the development of copyright law is better known. What motivated him, a self-educated and decidedly non-technical individual of a humanistic, writerly bent, to so aggressively explore so many avenues of IP? Was his most critical motivator some animating spirit of Connecticut Yankee/Gilded Age entrepreneurship? Or a simple desire for additional wealth, prosperity and status; or can we discern some other drivers? In the following pages I highlight and discuss the basic outline of Clemens' career across the spectrum of IP, suggest some areas of promising future research, and conclude with a suggestion which envisions a coherent approach lurking within these many initiatives.