22 April BST 11am/CET 12 noon/ Pacific 3am/EST 6am/AEST 8pm
‘Commodification of creativity’, Kathy Bowrey (UNSW) in conversation with Martin Fredriksson (Linköping) and Brad Sherman (Uni of Queensland)
There is an enduring and wide-reaching interest in understanding how copyright interacts with creativity, free speech, national cultures and new technologies. Without tracing the incorporation of authorship into the actual business practices of the global book, music and film industries we can’t begin to fully appreciate creator investments in copyright philosophy. How was the author’s right to intangible property as established in the 19th century so effectively mobilised by multinational corporations to create the modern cultural industries of the 20th century? Despite the image projected in advocacy that highlighted the benefits of copyright to all in the abstract, not all writers exploited copyright in the same manner or had access to the same social privileges, though standard forms of exploitation did emerge. To understand why some benefited and why others did less well, the relevance of writers’ different personalities, personal objectives, knowledge, experience, social networks and fortunes needs to be taken into account, but these factors play out differently depending upon genre, anticipated market, commodity forms and geographical location. Change in the significance of copyright and better outcomes for creators can come about when the value of authorship is reconsidered in light of a deeper understanding of how law functions in the cultural marketplace. It is hoped that readers of this book will support this endeavour by drawing upon a more critical understanding of copyright’s history in the 20th century and, in helping shift how relationships between art, law and society are perceived, deliver more control over creative lives than was evident in the previous century.
Kathy Bowrey is Professor at the Faculty of Law & Justice, University of New South Wales and Co-Director, ISHTIP. Her new book Copyright, Creativity, Big Media and Cultural Value. Incorporating the Author was published by Routledge, 2021.
Martin Fredriksson is Associate Professor at the Unit for Culture and Society (Tema Q), Linköping University. He is a member of the ISHTIP Governing Board.
Brad Sherman is Professor of Law and UQ Laureate Fellow at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. He is a member of the ISHTIP Advisory Board.
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