Theory on Demand #4
Imagine there is no copyright and no cultural conglomerates too...
Better for artists, diversity and the economy
Authors: Joost Smiers and Marieke van Schijndel
Translation from Dutch: Rosalind Buck, email@example.com
Design: Katja van Stiphout
DTP: Margreet Riphagen Printer: ‘Print on Demand’
Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2009
If we recognise that copyright is unfeasible, and unjustifiable, what should our response be? Immediately comes to mind that copyright provides an investment protection to blockbusters, best sellers and stars, and that it distorts cultural markets and pushes a wide variety of cultural expressions out of sight. At the same time, cultural conglomerates controlling copyright dominate cultural markets by owning the means of production, distribution, marketing and reception of cultural expressions. From the perspective of democracy and fair competition this type of market control is not to be tolerated.
Thus, let us imagine what abolishing copyright would accomplish, while not hesitate cutting cultural conglomerates into many pieces. The result is a level playing field in which many, and many more artists can make a decent living. And, even more importantly: a restoration of our public domain of creativity and knowledge.
Prof. dr Joost Smiers is a political scientist and Research Fellow at the Research Group Arts & Economics, Utrecht School of the Arts, the Netherlands. His Arts Under Pressure. Promoting Cultural Diversity in the Age of Globalization has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Amsterdam. firstname.lastname@example.org
Marieke van Schijndel is a cultural scientist and MBA graduate. She works in the cultural field in the Netherlands. She lives in Utrecht.
Printed on Demand
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