In recent anthropological discussions, copyright and wider issues of intellectual and cultural ownership are intricately articulated with a range of topics. This panel aims to specify the dynamics of copyright in contemporary social arrangements and to approach its appeal across disciplines.
Discussions over copyright issues have multipled in the last two decades among anthropologists. Copyright and wider issues of intellectual and cultural ownership are intricately articulated with a range of topics, from globalised economy inequalities and new reproduction technologies to world-music sampling techniques and peer-to-peer exchange of digital files through the internet. Creative practice, ideas of property, subjectivity, and the circulation of persons, services and goods have been deeply transformed under the influence of digital technology. While the typical romantic approach of copyright as a guardian and regulator of creative practice and authorship has been criticised to its roots, recent attempts for setting up protection mechanisms outside intellectual property regimes can be equally problematic. Yet, copyright claims and counter-claims continue to be a source of recurrent conflict. Discussions in a range of fields focus on the changing organization of cultural production and engage with questions about the plurality and instability of cultural processes as value creating activities and the difficulties in controlling valorization (e.g. technologies of replication). This panel invites papers that approach copyright's appeal across disciplinary boundaries and specify the dynamics of copyrighting in social arrangements characterized by knowledge and service intensity. Papers might also consider: How is copyright valued in different contexts and is it made meaningful in local settings and histories? How is copyright used as a device of agency? How are creative practices influenced by changing ideas about ownership? What is the role of technology in enabling entitlement and in transforming relationships among persons, things and practices?