Creators, Innovators, and Appropriation Mechanisms
George Mason Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s Conference, Common Ground: How Intellectual Property Unites Creators and Innovators, October 2014.
29 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2014
A problem that underlies the emerging innovator-creator copyright debates is that creative innovators naturally want their inputs to be “free” (in both the cost and repurposing senses), while they need their outputs to be appropriable if they want to receive a return on investment for their innovations. This appears to have led some tech firms and their advocates to engage in a diversionary sleight of hand in which they seek to minimize the appropriation mechanisms of those providing their inputs, while hiding or downplaying robust efforts to appropriate their outputs. This Essay explores the current state of this phenomenon, especially with regard to digital and social media. It argues that policymakers need to focus on this broader perspective and not allow some interested players to narrow the debate to the appropriation mechanisms of only one stakeholder group in creative innovation ecosystems.
Keywords: creativity, invention, arts, artists, entrepreneurs, creators, copyright, patent, innovation, appropriation, remix, user-generated content (UGC), access to knowledge (A2K)
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