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Cultures of Copyright

Contemporary Intellectual Property


Edited By Dànielle Nicole DeVoss and Martine Courant Rife

The symbols, signs, and traces of copyright and related intellectual property laws that appear on everyday texts, objects, and artifacts have multiplied exponentially over the past 15 years. Digital spaces have revolutionized access to content and transformed the ways in which content is porous and malleable. In this volume, contributors focus on copyright as it relates to culture. The editors argue that what «counts» as property must be understood as shifting terrain deeply influenced by historical, economic, cultural, religious, and digital perspectives.
Key themes addressed include issues of how:
• Culture is framed, defined, and/or identified in conversations about intellectual property;
• The humanities and other related disciplines are implicated in intellectual property issues;
• The humanities will continue to rub up against copyright (e.g., issues of authorship, authorial agency, ownership of texts);
• Different cultures and bodies of literature approach intellectual property, and how competing dynasties and marginalized voices exist beyond the dominant U.S. copyright paradigm.
Offering a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, Cultures of Copyright offers readers – scholars, researchers, practitioners, theorists, and others – key considerations to contemplate in terms of how we understand copyright’s past and how we chart its futures.


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Introduction. Cultures and/of/in Copyright ([Dànielle Nicole DeVoss] [Martine Courant Rife])


• I N T R O D U C T I O N • Cultures and/of/in Copyright Dànielle Nicole DeVoss and Martine Courant Rife ll scholars have a role to play in analyzing, charting, and interrogating practices of intellectual property. We make knowledge, remediate infor- mation, remix theories, and produce a wide range of intellectual prod- ucts. Issues orbiting around IP include appropriation, derivative work, invention practices, authority and authorship, trademarking, plagiarism, copy- right, folklore and practices, storytelling, fair use, satire, parody, and more. All of the work we do, all of the work our students do, and all of the work at our institutions is, arguably, IP-implicated. Those of us who serve as faculty are, es- sentially, under work-for-hire contracts for our institutions. When creating texts, if we use the time and resources of our colleges and universities, these texts could possibly be considered the “property” of our institutions. Our ideas and our words go from our minds through our fingers on the keyboard, mesh with the computers’ hard drives (university property) and become texts, texts that are then shared via email (often via institutional servers), and perhaps even printed on the departmental laser printer, using departmentally provided paper. If we are research-active faculty, when we produce manuscripts and send them off, the outcome we hope for is a publication contract, which typically includes a copyright-release clause, where we acknowledge that we are assigning our rights to copy to the publisher and its representatives. We transfer these rights because, per...

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