Copy rights: The politics of copying and creativity

Negus, Keith; Street, John and Behr, Adam. 2018. Copy rights: The politics of copying and creativity. Political Studies, 66(1), pp. 63-80. ISSN 0032-3217 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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 digitalization 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.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


music industry, copying, copyright

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Popular Music Research Unit


16 January 2017Accepted
23 August 2017Published Online
1 February 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2017 10:20

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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