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

12 Pages Posted: 17 May 2009 Last revised: 28 Sep 2009

Dotan Oliar

University of Virginia School of Law

Christopher Jon Sprigman

New York University School of Law

Date Written: May 16, 2009

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.

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

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1406067

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

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