TOD #4: Imagine There Is No Copyright and No Cultural Conglomorates Too…

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About the book: If we recognize that copyright is unfeasible, and unjustifiable, what should our response be? Immediately comes to mind that copyright provides an investment protection to blockbusters, best sellers and stars. It distorts cultural markets and pushes a wide variety of cultural expressions out of sight. At the same time, cultural conglomerates controlling copyright dominate cultural markets by owning the means of production, distribution, marketing and reception of cultural expressions. From the perspective of democracy and fair competition this type of market control is not to be tolerated. Thus, let us imagine what abolishing copyright would accomplish, while we do not hesitate cutting cultural conglomerates into many pieces. The result is a level playing field in which many, and many more artists can make a decent living. And even more important effect would be the restoration of our public domain of creativity and knowledge.

About the authors: Prof. dr Joost Smiers is a political scientist and Research Fellow at the Research Group Arts & Economics, Utrecht School of the Arts, the Netherlands. His Arts Under Pressure. Promoting Cultural Diversity in the Age of Globalization has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Amsterdam.

Marieke van Schijndel is a cultural scientist and MBA graduate. She works in the cultural field in the Netherlands. She lives in Utrecht.

Colophon: Authors: Joost Smiers and Marieke van Schijndel, Translation from Dutch: Rosalind Buck, Design: Katja van Stiphout. Printer: ‘Print on Demand’. Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2009. ISBN: 978-90-78146-09-4.