The Problem of Creative Collaboration
Anthony J. Casey
University of Chicago Law School
University of Miami - School of Law
March 12, 2016
William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 58, 2017
University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-22
University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 761
In this Article, we explore a central problem facing creative industries: how to organize collaborative creative production? We identify informal rules as a significant and pervasive — but nonetheless overlooked — tool for solving that problem. While existing literature has focused on the role that informal rules play in creating incentives for the production of creative work, we demonstrate how such rules can be even more influential in facilitating and organizing collaboration in the creative space.
We also suggest that informal rules are often a better fit for organization than formal law. Unique features of creativity, especially high uncertainty and low verifiability, create organizational challenges that formal law cannot address, as demonstrated by recent high profile cases like Garcia v. Google. But certain informal rules can meet these challenges and facilitate organization where law fails to do so. We explain how informal rules functioning through mechanisms like reputation and trust can sustain an organizational solution without a manager, a hierarchical firm, or formal law allocating control rights. Finally, we sketch out the dynamics in hybrid situations of creative organization where informal rules function alongside formal law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 55
Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, organization, informal rules, norms, creativity, theory of the firm
JEL Classification: D21, D23, H41, K00, K11, K12, K39, L14, L22, L23, L82
Date posted: May 2, 2016 ; Last revised: July 14, 2016