From Corn to Norms: How IP Entitlements Affect What Stand-Up Comedians Create
12 Pages Posted: 17 May 2009 Last revised: 28 Sep 2009
Date Written: May 16, 2009
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
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