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From Corn to Norms: How IP Entitlements Affect What Stand-Up Comedians Create


Dotan Oliar


University of Virginia School of Law

Christopher Jon Sprigman


New York University School of Law; University of Virginia School of Law

May 16, 2009

Virginia Law Review In Brief, Vol. 95, No. 57, 2009
Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2009-11

Abstract:     
In There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy, 94 Virginia L. Rev. 1787 (2008), we explored how, why, and what stand-up comedians have created at different points in the history of stand-up comedy. From this study, we offered insights into how intellectual property (“IP”) law affects human motivation to create, how legal and non-legal motivations interact, and how the emergence of IP entitlements (in comedians’ case, norm-based entitlements) may change creative practices. We offered a static analysis of how stand-up comedians use social norms as a substitute for formal IP law in order to protect their jokes and comedic routines, and a dynamic analysis of how these norms came into being over the last half century.

In this short piece for the Virginia Law Review's In Brief, we reply to a group of thoughtful responses to our article by Professors Michael Madison, Jennifer Rothman, Henry Smith, and Katherine Strandburg.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, social norms, law and economics, Demsetz

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Date posted: May 17, 2009 ; Last revised: September 28, 2009

Suggested Citation

Oliar, Dotan and Sprigman, Christopher Jon, From Corn to Norms: How IP Entitlements Affect What Stand-Up Comedians Create (May 16, 2009). Virginia Law Review In Brief, Vol. 95, No. 57, 2009; Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2009-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1406067

Contact Information

Dotan Oliar
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-3219 (Phone)

Christopher Jon Sprigman (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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