Individual Branding: How the Rise of Individual Creation and Distribution of Cultural Products Confuses the Intellectual Property System
CREATIVITY, LAW, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Shubha Ghosh and Robin Malloy, eds., Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2020
Date Written: August 24, 2009
Much of the current intellectual property system can be explained as meeting the needs of a culture industry based on individual authors who look to corporate entities to mass produce and distribute cultural products. Today, however, as digital technology decreases the cost of both the production and distribution of cultural products, individuals have taken on previously corporate roles. Authors now seek copyright and trademark protection for their work in ways that expand authorial control at the expense of the intellectual property system as a whole. In this essay I argue that these new modes of generating value may require protection but that the current intellectual property system is not equipped to provide such protection without upsetting the balance between creators and users. This essay seeks to map authors’ new interests as a way to show where the intellectual property system can meet these new needs or where it must change. Given the speed with which technology and this type of production evolves, I offer that the law may not best way to manage many of these interests at all.
Keywords: attention, reputation, attribution, branding, Wealth of Networks, Netflix, social production
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