Lay mis/understandings of copyright

What do people think about copyright? Over at Jotwell, Andres Guadamuz reviews Lee Edwards et al, Isn’t it just a way to protect Walt Disney’s rights?: Media user perspectives on copyright, 16 New Media & Soc’y (2013) (paywall). The article looks very interesting.  I was struck by this description from the review; it’s probably familiar/intuitive but this time it gave me an idea:

Another interesting finding is that users tended to describe downloading and file-sharing as something transitory, for example, to be done while there are no legal alternatives, or to be performed while you do not have enough money to purchase content legally. Similarly, the delay between a TV show being distributed in the US and Europe was identified by participants as an important factor driving piracy levels up. Users also seemed to be more comfortable with sharing content with friends and family, than to widespread and indiscriminate file sharing online.

I’ve long been a fan of Viviana Zelizer, and these descriptions of incompletely commodified relationships strike me as structurally similar to other relationships to the market she describes, where market transactions are appropriate for some circumstances and nonmarket for others, and this helps constitute a self distinguishable from the market while also involved in and shaped by it.  Of course, here copyright owners are really really unhappy about that, but I think her approach might offer some useful insights.  What will be private and/or uncommodified in the brave new copyright world?
This entry was posted in copying, Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s