Knowledge is sticky because it adheres to people along social routes, lodged within relational and collective modalities, as well as through copyright's proverbial fixed works that can be transacted more freely. Sticky knowledge may in fact constitute a much larger body of knowledge than we usually acknowledge in intellectual property and may intersect with copyright in unexpected ways. This Article delves into sticky knowledge, which has been referenced often outside of intellectual property and sometimes within the laws of patents and trade secrets but almost not at all within copyright law. Under what circumstances will sticky knowledge encourage robust knowledge transmission-or copyright's goal of "encouragement of learning"? Understanding the scope and reach of this kind of knowledge may point to optimal means to encourage knowledge spillovers and reliability.
Margaret Chon, Sticky Knowledge in Copyright, 2011 WIS. L. REV. 177 (2011).