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
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
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