Current Issue

‘Good Copyright Citizenship’: Intellectual Property, Trade and Diplomacy

IJCCI volume 2, issue 3, July 2015

This paper uses two case studies to examine the diverse strategies deployed in an attempt to extend international compliance with intellectual property law in the creative industries. Graham Dutfield (2008) coined the term ‘intellectual property fundamentalism’, to describe the way in which trade agreements have resulted in countries relatively new to intellectual property regulation adopting regimes more onerous than those of the United States and many European countries. I argue that in addition to these regulatory methods, a concept of ‘good copyright citizenship’ has emerged as an additional element of ‘intellectual property fundamentalism’. The first case study explores the reception given Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's inflatable Rubber Duck when it was installed in China in 2013 and enthusiastically reproduced in cities beyond the official program. These were referred to in the media as ‘counterfeits’ and condemned by government. The second case study examines the enthusiastic downloading of the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones among Australian viewers, a matter that has attracted criticism from the US ambassador to Australia. This case study analyzes the motivations of those engaged in ‘illegal’ downloading and the diplomatic interventions that seek to counter this activity. Since each case study raises separate aspects of intellectual property law and market behavior, linking these two case studies illuminates how governments engage in diplomatic activity in an effort to encourage ‘good copyright citizenship’.

Keywords: Intellectual property, Trade agreements, Creative industries, Diplomacy, Copyright compliance


Category: Industry Insight