‘Cultural Heritage and IP’, Fiona Macmillan in conversation with Jose Bellido and Kathy Bowrey

May 20 BST 11am/CET 12 noon/ Pacific 3am/EST 6am/AEST 8pm

‘Cultural Heritage and IP’, Fiona Macmillan (Birkbeck) in conversation with Jose Bellido (Kent) and Kathy Bowrey (UNSW)

The encounter between creativity and cultural production, on the one hand, and legal regulation, on the other, demonstrates the systemic and conceptual limits of the law. It raises a host of questions that traverse – in multiple senses and contexts – distinctions between things like public and private, property and the commons, individual and community, product and process, idea and expression, tangible and intangible, movable and immovable, conservation and destruction, authentic and fake, and, perhaps most fundamentally, nature and culture. This book is about these binary distinctions – about how they hold and how they do not hold – in the context of the legal regimes governing copyright and cultural heritage. While the book argues that these two legal regimes are held together by a common approach to these binary distinctions, they are also held apart by their dominant frames of reference. While copyright as a private property right locates all relationships in the context of the market, the context of cultural heritage relationships is the community, of which the market forms a part but does not – or, at least, should not – control the whole. The current international law concept of cultural heritage, however, is weakened and hollowed out by a fossilized vision of heritage that is not up to the task of resisting the constant impositions of the market. The book proposes a radicalized concept of cultural heritage/property that locates and regulates cultural production within the dynamic and mutually constitutive process of community formation. Only such a concept, the book argues, will provide a basis for resisting the reduction of everything to its value in the market, for resisting the commodification, and creeping propertization, of all our cultural production.

Fiona Macmillan is Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Roma Tre and the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a member of the ISHTIP Executive Committee. Her new book, Intellectual and Cultural Property. Between Market and Community, was published by Routledge, 2021.

Jose Bellido is Reader in Law at Kent University. He is a member of the ISHTIP Governing Board and a PASSIM project team member.

Kathy Bowrey is Professor at the Faculty of Law & Justice, University of New South Wales and Co-Director, ISHTIP. She is a Visiting Scholar, State Library of NSW (2021) and Research Fellow, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Australia.

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