LEGAL FORM AND CULTURAL SYMBOL
Writers in information and communication studies often assume the stability of objects under investigation: network nodes, databases, information. Legal writers in the intellectual property tradition often assume that cultural artefacts exist as objects prior to being governed by copyright law. Both assumptions are fallacious. This introduction conceptualizes the relationship of legal form and cultural symbol. Starting from an understanding of copyright law as part of systems of cultural production, it is argued that copyright law constructs the artefacts it seeks to regulate as objects that can be bought and sold. In doing so, the legal and aesthetic logic of cultural symbols may clash, as in the case of digital music (the central focus of this special issue).
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-03-01