Copy Rights: The politics of copying and creativity

John Street, Keith Negus, Adam Behr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


This article analyses the politics of copyright and copying. Copyright is an increasingly important driver of the modern economy, but this does not exhaust its significance. It matters, we argue, not just for the distribution of rewards and resources in the creative industries, but as a site within which established political concerns – collective and individual interests and identities – are articulated and negotiated and within which notions of ‘originality’, ‘creativity’ and ‘copying’ are politically constituted. Set against the background of the increasing economic value attributed to the creative industries, the impact of digitalisation on them and the European Union’s Digital Single Market strategy, the article reveals how copyright policy and the underlying assumptions about ‘copying’ and ‘creativity’ express (often unexamined) political values and ideologies. Drawing on a close reading of policy statements, official reports, court cases and interviews with stakeholders, we explore the multiple political aspects of copyright, showing how copyright policy operates to privilege particular interests and practices and to acknowledge only specific forms of creative endeavour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number1
Early online date23 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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