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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 Four: Implications, Actions, and Pedagogical Work


• P A R T F O U R • Implications, Actions, and Pedagogical Work • C H A P T E R N I N E T E E N • A Culture of Sharing: The U.S. Nonprofit Sector and Intellectual Property Guiseppe Getto and Jessica Getto-Rivait ncouraged by public relations firms and law firms, as well as the successes of their for-profit counterparts, many U.S. nonprofits are exploring how branding can aid them in weathering the current philanthropic climate (“Charitable giving drops,” 2010). Often, nonprofit organizations (or NPOs) and their in-house or consultant allies couple branding practices with the use of digital media (such as organization web sites and social media accounts) to stand out to potential stakeholders (e.g., donors, members, and volunteers). To attract stakeholders, these organizations attempt to “sell” what makes them different from other NPOs. Unfortunately, this interest in branding has also led to some infighting over which organization owns what brand materials—in extreme cases, this has led to lawsuits. In response to this new level of competition over intellectual property, some NPOs are turning to law firms and are actively re- cruiting lawyers to sit on their executive boards in an effort to protect their or- ganizations from financially devastating legal disputes. Despite this spike in various forms of competition within the recent history of the nonprofit sector, however, we argue that a “culture of sharing” still exists among small NPOs. Further, we maintain that this culture may be key to the survival of some NPOs—even...

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