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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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Part Three: Cultures of Copyright


• P A R T T H R E E • Cultures of Copyright • C H A P T E R T W E L V E • Copyright and Cultural Use: Tracing Tensions between Policy and Practice in Participatory Cultures Dave Jones ithin online communities, people collaborate to find and share in- formation and generate new knowledge (Diehl, Grabill, Hart- Davidson, & Iyer, 2008). In doing so, they become participants who use, share, manipulate, and replicate intellectual property across numer- ous social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and many other services. In doing so, participatory cultures emerge wherein participants lever- age their collective skills and abilities to create content, share ideas, and pro- duce knowledge (Jenkins, 2006). As Henry Jenkins (1992, 2004, 2006) pointed out, the social and creative activities of participatory cultures often leverage copyrighted content. Participants extend storylines from television shows and movies in the form of fan-fiction, collaborate through blogs and fo- rums to critically explore and repurpose these stories, and often recreate films, books, and stories in various modes. They distribute their work in the form of videos, written texts, audio recordings, and, sometimes, as fan-created com- puter and video games. These social and creative practices, and their implications for collaborative knowledge work, are the focus of this chapter. Examining the ways that these cultures use IP for the knowledge work that often accompanies participation through social web tools allows us to better understand how and why these cultures appropriate IP as “differently abled, differently resourced, and differ-...

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