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PROJECT II.4 Creativity and Alternatives to Intellectual Property

Key Facts

Principal Investigators:  Prof. Dr. Leonhard Dobusch, University of Innsbruck, Prof. Dr. Sigrid Quack, University of Duisburg-Essen

Project Description

Critiques of dominant approaches towards the legal protection of creative outputs through patent and copyright law have led to the emergence of alternative approaches such as open licensing models.
These alternative approaches have in common the goal of fostering creative recombination based on broader access to knowledge and products (in the sense of a “public domain”) through private regulation. Research on alternative regulatory approaches has been dominated by legal and economic studies with a focus on the macro level. So far, however, little attention has been given to the theoretical and empirical study of the creativity-shaping effects of alternative approaches at the level of organizational and professional practices. Synthesizing practice and institutional theories from business and organization studies, the project will develop a regulation-as-apractice
meso-level approach through a comparative analysis of the fields of pharma (studying alternatives to patents) and music (studying alternatives to copyright). This project will thus investigate how organizational actors understand, structure and use alternative regulatory approaches and how the organization of creative processes differs in such cases from those operating under dominant approaches to intellectual property rights. In so doing, this project
aims to provide (1) an empirical mapping of alternative approaches, their perceived impacts on regulatory uncertainty, and the ways they are enacted through practices in creative processes; (2) a comparative analysis of creative practices and ways of dealing with regulatory uncertainty under dominant and alternative intellectual property regimes; and (3) developing a conceptual model of the interrelationship between regulatory uncertainty and creative
processes from a regulation-as-practice meso-level perspective. The results of the project will contribute to a better theoretical and empirical understanding of the implications of dominant and alternative approaches for reducing and inducing regulatory uncertainty in creative processes.

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