Trademarks, Property, and Propriety: The Moral Economy of Consumer Politics and Corporate Accountability on the World Wide Web

36 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2014

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

Intellectual Property laws operate as moral economy, governing ownership, behavior, and norms of appropriate symbolic practice. The symbolic meaning of a commodity’s meaning, and the corporate persona in general, must be legally structured so as to constrain surplus meaning and protect against the dilution of symbolic value. Unauthorized appropriations and alternative significations must be monitored or ideally prohibited, thus shaping practices of governmentality in commercial culture. The field of governance is intensified, provoked, and challenged in digital contexts. We examine the intertwined relationship between property and propriety in cyberspace by looking at internet domain name controversies, arguing that the rise of corporate surveillance in IP protection is accompanied by digital resistance and ultimately provides opportunities for new forms of social responsibility in digital environments.

Keywords: Intellectual property, Domain name controversies, Propriety

Suggested Citation

Coombe, Rosemary J. and Herman, Andrew, Trademarks, Property, and Propriety: The Moral Economy of Consumer Politics and Corporate Accountability on the World Wide Web (2000). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 50, 597 - 632. (coauthored with Andrew Herman). 50th Anniversary Symposium Issue on Civil Litigation and Popular Culture, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463782

Rosemary J. Coombe (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.yorku.ca/rcoombe/publications.htm

Andrew Herman

Drake University

2507 University Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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