The Creative Identity and Intellectual Property

By Denoncourt, Janice | Nottingham Law Journal, Annual 2016 | Go to article overview

The Creative Identity and Intellectual Property


Denoncourt, Janice, Nottingham Law Journal


INTRODUCTION

Society relies on creative people to enrich culture by producing the art, music, literature, and to design and invent new products that enhance our lives. (1) Although the fruit of creative work has a high profile in society, there are few studies in relation to intellectual property (IP) rights, culture and the creative identity. Artists and designers have specific and well-established IP rights, but lack awareness of their impact in an entrepreneurial and commercial context. What is the relationship between creatives and IP? How do creatives perceive the IP rights in relation to their work? An interdisciplinary approach begins with an appreciation of how those in other disciplines, such as art and design, think. Indeed, there is evidence of a new 'creative class' whose economic function is to create new ideas, new creative content and to innovate.

IP law is that area of law that concerns legal rights associated with the product of creativity (a cognitive process) and is classified in law as intangible property. (2) The term 'IP' is an umbrella expression for copyrights, related/neighbouring rights and industrial property rights although this list is not exhaustive. The interests of the creators are protected by legal IP rights afforded to the 'property' of their creation. These IP rights are the same as any form of property that is owned and gives the owner the right to assign, mortgage and license. The field of IP law plays an important role in human life by encouraging advancement in social, artistic and technical fields and provides creators with reputational and commercial opportunities.

This research analyses how creatives behave in relation to the IP rights that subsist in their creative work, a concept coined as 'behavioural IP'. Through a discussion of 'creative identity' theory and practice in IP law education, linked to practical examples of thoughtful interventions carried out by the Nottingham Creative IP Project and planned for the future, this article aims to make IP academics think about the common characteristics of the 'creative identity' enabling them to enhance how they communicate the IP law framework to creatives, key stakeholders in the IP regime. It will examine how academics can transform IP educational practice and engage more effectively with entrepreneurial creatives, assisting them to recognise and reflect on the IP rights that subsist in their cultural and potentially economically valuable creative works.

Research into the creative identity is important because the UK's creative industries are world leaders and their contribution to the UK economy is considerable. Recent government figures show that UK creative industries are worth 76.9 billion [pounds sterling] per year to the economy--8.8 million [pounds sterling] per hour. A report published by the London Development Agency described London as the 'creative hub' (3) and a global city in the creative industries sector. At the same time, IP--its creation, its protection, its management--has become a major area of concern in terms of economic development worldwide. Further, according to Hartley:

   The creative industries are important because they are clustered at
   the point of attraction for a billion or more young people around
   the world. They're among the drivers of demographic, economic and
   political change. They start from the individual talent of the
   creative artist and the individual desire and aspiration of the
   audience. These are the raw materials for innovation, change and
   emergent culture, scaled up to form new industries and coordinated
   into global markets based on social networks. (4)

The emergence of new ideas and creative works underpins economic development, creating employment, commercial and socio-cultural growth. Offering legal protection for the creation of ideas and innovation is the essence of the IP law framework the purpose of which is to stimulate and encourage the creation and diffusion of ideas crucial for cultural and economic development. …

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