Intellectual Property and Conceptions of Culture


Underlying conceptions about culture continue to play an important and often not sufficiently recognised role in intellectual property theory and practice. For example, ideas about cultural progress and culture as autonomous are key conceptions underlying intellectual property doctrine that have continuing resonance. Conceptions of culture and cultural value have also played an important role in determining the shape of intellectual property frameworks and types of cultural production that have come to benefit from intellectual property protection. Intellectual property frameworks also have an impact on culture that merits greater attention. This article will discuss how conceptions of culture and cultural progress are important for understanding critical aspects of intellectual property theory and its implementation in varied contexts. It will also discuss the implications for culture of underlying assumptions based on valuable asset conceptions that continue to shape intellectual property frameworks.

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