Creativity and Its Discontents: China’s Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights Offenses

Creativity and Its Discontents: China’s Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights Offenses

Laikwan Pang

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0822350823

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Creativity and Its Discontents is a sharp critique of the intellectual property rights (IPR)–based creative economy, particularly as it is embraced or ignored in China. Laikwan Pang argues that the creative economy—in which creativity is an individual asset to be commodified and protected as property—is an intensification of Western modernity and capitalism at odds with key aspects of Chinese culture. Nevertheless, globalization has compelled China to undertake endeavors involving intellectual property rights. Pang examines China's IPR-compliant industries, as well as its numerous copyright violations. She describes how China promotes intellectual property rights in projects such as the development of cultural tourism in the World Heritage city of Lijiang, the transformation of Hong Kong cinema, and the cultural branding of Beijing. Meanwhile, copyright infringement proliferates, angering international trade organizations. Pang argues that piracy and counterfeiting embody the intimate connection between creativity and copying. She points to the lack of copyright protections for Japanese anime as the motor of China's dynamic anime culture. Theorizing the relationship between knockoffs and appropriation art, Pang offers an incisive interpretation of China's flourishing art scene. Creativity and Its Discontents is a refreshing rejoinder to uncritical celebrations of the creative economy.

















reward. Such fan labor is driven by a number of factors, including passion for the programs, the sense of belonging to the group, and the sense of satisfaction driven partly by the competition among the subtitling groups.47 These subtitling activities, as I have said, can also be understood as 80 Chapter Three part of the open source movement, as the addition of subtitles modifies the content and helps distribute it to a wider audience. Not only can such nonprofit sharing intervene and disturb

because there was no piracy there, but because modern copy- Cultural Policy, Intellectual Property rights 97 right’s underlying motivations—commercialism and private property—were not emphasized as much in premodern China. As I have discussed in chapter 3, the present IPr global regime is a legal and ideological product specific to Western history and deeply entrenched in the development of modernity and capitalism. Although a few angry writers during the Song Dynasty may have protested

engineering that has increasingly become the duty of city government. If it is simply impossible to shape a nation, many city governments are working hard to remodel their cities to attract global interest. A unified image, not only as myth but rendered by actual urban design, is exalted to subdue or control, although never easily, the unruly chaos of an urban space and culture that resulted from historical contingencies and the overlapping of multiple life patterns. Gerard Wigmans’s overview of

own, free from contamination by social and political goals.41 Pertinent as it is, we also need to analyze the politicization of the idea of innovation. We must understand the heavy negotiations behind it: innovation is safe as long as it is understood as politically neutral technological development; it becomes dangerous when it promotes radical changes. This intricacy is revealed in the concept of national cultural security (國家文化安全 guojia wenhua anquan). The concept was first announced by

these leases, are illegal in spite of the official endorsement by local governments and village chiefs at the time. Claiming the earlier contracts were illegal, villagers now hope that the new property rights law, which was passed in March 2007, will allow them to sell their land, this time legally, for higher prices, although the current version of the law only allows city urbanities, not rural residents, to buy and sell property with leases of between fifty and seventy years.69 As expected, Li

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