Owning culture: Authorship, ownership and intellectual property law
Owning Culture demonstrates how the fabric of social life in most Western countries—and increasingly, the world—is deeply bound up with the logic(s) of intellectual property law. The primary new question that is asked, which provides the focus for this dissertation, is the following. What happens to an area of cultural production that had been previously (relatively) untouched by the sphere of intellectual property law when that area is immersed in these new social relations? To better understand why people resist, adapt, or cease to engage in cultural practices at particular historical moments and in situated social contexts, I use articulation theory to help me identify and map the particular elements at play in the privatization of culture. By primarily focusing on ownership patterns, battles over ownership, and the effects of the corporate ownership of culture, political economists have ignored many interesting questions that are raised when cultural texts become commodified and subject to laws of private ownership. If one looks beyond the political economy of cultural production and shifts the unit of analysis to the location where culture is produced, a whole new set of questions emerge—questions that focus on the way in which intellectual property law affect the day to day lived experiences of cultural producers and consumers.
0326: Cultural anthropology