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Copyright: a systemic marketplace icon

Edwards, Lee ORCID: 0000-0001-6542-1234 (2017) Copyright: a systemic marketplace icon. Consumption Markets and Culture. ISSN 1025-3866

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Identification Number: 10.1080/10253866.2017.1372925


This article argues that copyright is a systemic marketplace icon, because of the breadth of its effects on market operations. Copyright determines how intellectual property rights for creative work are allocated between the different actors involved in production and consumption, and must balance the civic priority of public access to creative work with the market-driven principle of rewarding private interests for their effort. This duality tends to polarise opinion about its implementation by rights holders, because very different ideological assumptions underpin civic and market objectives. Copyright discourses reveal how these ideological struggles play out among interested parties, who use the concept of copyright to make normative arguments about how markets should be structured, how creative work should be exchanged, and how consumers should behave. In the process, copyright is constructed, explained, branded and promoted as an object to which market actors must orient themselves if they wish to conduct themselves appropriately, and as a rationale for material changes to market structures. Thus, copyright discourses illustrate the breadth and depth of copyright’s systemic influence on the marketplace. At the same time, copyright discourses, which invoke both the market and democracy, reveal the implications of copyright for the quality of democracy, the circulation of creativity and the availability of public knowledge and help to explain why ideological struggles over copyright are so difficult to resolve.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 08:22
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 20:03
Projects: RES-062-23-3027; AH/K000179/1
Funders: ESRC; AHRC

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