Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries
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Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries

Edited by Abbe E.L. Brown and Charlotte Waelde

The creative industries are becoming of increasing importance from economic, cultural, and social perspectives. This Handbook explores the relationship, whether positive or negative, between creative industries and intellectual property (IP) rights.
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Chapter 22: Theory and philosophy

Jaime Stapleton


Around the turn of the millennium, creativity became an important term in the lexicon of policy makers and lawyers. But what is creativity, and what are its implications? Once, creative ‘sharing and collaboration’ online seemed to threaten the national focus of IP-intensive Creative Industries policy. Digital openness offered a new era of social progress in which free speech triumphed over the interests of private property. But since 2009, and especially after 2013, it has become evident that the ‘digital commons’ has resulted in a ‘land grab’. To read, view, or listen, is to create data properties harvested by a tiny number of Big Data multinationals. In a weird reversal, rather than holding central power to account, free speech is now the means by which the vertical power of the digital Leviathan is being built. As a result, every user must adapt behaviours to the rulers of the ‘surveillance commons’.

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