gibson in Adema 2019
ry authors to academics and screenwriters — responded.
‘What Are Words Worth Now?’ summarises the findings of a larger study titled
‘The Business Of Being An Author: A Survey Of Authors’ Earnings And
Contracts’, carried out by Johanna Gibson, Phillip Johnson and Gaetano Dimita
and published in April 2015 by Queen Mary University of
London.(ch3.xhtml#footnote-151) The ALCS press release that accompanies the
study states that this ‘shocking’ new research into authors’ earnings fin
f is seen as being the product
of a variety of (posthuman) agencies. Interestingly, someone who has written
very elaborately about a different form of creativity relevant to this context
is one of the authors of the ALCS commissioned report, Johanna Gibson. Similar
to Craig, who focuses on the relationality of copyright, Gibson wants to pay
more attention to the networking of creativity, moving it beyond a focus on
traditional models of producers and consumers in exchange for a ‘many-to-many’
model of creativity. For Gibson, IP as a system aligns with a corporate model
of creativity, one which oversimplifies what it means to be creative and
measures it against economic parameters alone.(ch3.xhtml#footnote-099) In
many ways in policy driven visions, IP has come to stand in for the creative
process itself, Gibson argues, and is assimilated within corporate models of
innovation. It has thus become a synonym for creativity, as we have seen in
the creative industries discourse. As Gibson explains, this simplified model
of creativity is very much a ‘discursive strategy’ in which the creator is
mythologised and output comes in the form of commodified
objects.(ch3.xhtml#footnote-098) In this sense we need to re-appropriate
eativity have trouble existing within this self-
defining and sustaining hegemonic system. This is similar to what Craig
remarked with respect to remixed, counterfeit and pirated, and un-original
works, which are seen as standing outside the system. Gibson uses actor
network theory (ANT) as a framework to construct her network-based model of
creativity, where for her ANT allows for a vision that does not fix creativity
within a product, but focuses more on the material relationships and
ment I have outlined above that I would
like to include here. First of all, I would like to complicate and further
critique some of the preconceptions still inherent in the relational and
networked copyright models as put forward by Craig et al. and Gibson. Both are
in many ways reformist and ‘responsive’ models. Gibson, for example, does not
want to do away with IP rights, she wants them to develop and adapt to mirror
society more accurately according to a networked model of creativity. For her,
the law is out of tune with its public, and she wants to promote a mor
of exclusion that does not line up with the assemblages of agentic processes
that make up creativity and creative expression.(ch3.xhtml#footnote-089)
How can we appreciate the relational and processual aspects of identity, which
both Craig and Gibson seem to want to promote, if we hold on to an inherently
humanist concept of subjectification, rights and creativity?
Secondly, I want to highlight that we need to remain cautious of a movement
away from copyright and the copyright industries, to a c
s, benefitting the creative industries and the
knowledge economy. The danger of updating and adapting IP law to fit a
changing digital context and to new technologies, of making it more inclusive
in this sense — which is something both Craig and Gibson want to do as part of
their reformative models — is that this tends to be based on a very simplified
and deterministic vision of technology, as something requiring access and an
open market to foster innovation. As Sarah Kember argues, this techn
ng the value of creativity through an economic perspective, based
on a calculative lobby.(ch3.xhtml#footnote-088) The challenge here is to
redefine the discourse in such a way that our focus moves away from a dominant
market vision, and — as Gibson and Craig have also tried to do — to emphasise
a non-calculative ethics of relations, processes and care instead.
I would like to return at this point to the ALCS report and the way its
results have been framed within a creative industries disco
Released’, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, 2014,
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-149-backlink) Johanna Gibson, Phillip Johnson, and
Gaetano Dimita, The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings
and Contracts (London: Queen Mary University of London, 2015), p. 9,
[https://orca.cf.ac.uk/72431/1/Final Report - For Web Publication.pdf
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-148-backlink) ALCS, Press Release. What Are Words Worth
Now? Not Enough, 8 July 2014,
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-147-backlink) Gibson, Johnson, and Dimita, The Business
of Being an Author, p. 35.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-146-backlink) M. Kretschmer and P. Hardwick, Authors’
Earnings from Copyright and Non-Copyright Sources: A Survey of 25,000 British
and German Writers (Poole: CI
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-145-backlink) ALCS, Press Release, 8 July 2014,
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-144-backlink) Gibson, Johnson, and Dimita, The Business
of Being an Author, p. 35.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-142-backlink) In the survey, three questions that
focus on various sources of remuneration do list digital publishing
udio-visual productions and theatre. This lack of focus on the effect
of digital publishing on writers’ incomes, for a survey that is ‘the first to
capture the impact of the digital revolution on writers’ working lives’, is
quite remarkable. Gibson, Johnson, and Dimita, The Business of Being an
Author, Appendix 2.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-141-backlink) Ibid., p. 35.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-139-backlink) Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds.),
k) Next to earnings made from writing more
in general, the survey on various occasions asks questions about earnings
arising from specific categories of works and related to the amount of works
exploited (published/broadcast) during certain periods. Gibson, Johnson, and
Dimita, The Business of Being an Author, Appendix 2.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-134-backlink) Roger Chartier, The Order of Books:
Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe Between the 14th and 18th Centuries,
1st ed. (Stanford: Stanford U
cklink) The ALCS survey addresses this problem,
of course, and tries to lobby on behalf of its authors for fair contracts with
publishers and intermediaries. That said, the survey findings show that only
42% of writers always retain their copyright. Gibson, Johnson, and Dimita, The
Business of Being an Author, p. 12.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-132-backlink) Michel Foucault, ‘What Is an Author?’,
in James D. Faubion (ed.), Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984, Volume Two:
Aesthetics, Method, and
ound them just perceive them to be so.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-101-backlink) Craig, Turcotte, and Coombe, ‘What’s
Feminist About Open Access?’, p. 2.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-099-backlink) Johanna Gibson, Creating Selves:
Intellectual Property and the Narration of Culture (Aldershot, UK, and
Burlington: Routledge, 2007), p. 7.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-098-backlink) Gibson, Creating Selves, p. 7.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-096-backlink) Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing:
Managing Language in the Digital Age (New York: Columbia University Press,
2011), p. 227.
ng them into a
blank book.’ Janneke Adema, ‘Cut-Up’, in Eduardo Navas (ed.), Keywords in
Remix Studies (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 104–14,
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-091-backlink) Gibson, Creating Selves, p. 27.
(ch3.xhtml#footnote-090-backlink) For example, animals cannot own
copyright. See the case of Naruto, the macaque monkey that took a ‘selfie’
photograph of itself. Victoria Richards, ‘Monkey Selfie: Judge Rules Mac
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