Copyright and Creativity: cultural economics for the 21st century
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Inaugural lecture for the personal Chair in Economics of Creative Industries, Faculty of History and Arts
The title of this lecture is ‘Copyright and Creativity: cultural economics for the 21st century’ and the title of my chair is Economics of Creative Industries, so I obviously think I have something to say about creativity. However, creativity is one of those words that has become completely debased by overuse: anything and everything is apparently ‘creative’ nowadays – not just industries and the economy but also advertising, salesmanship, management consultancy – even accountancy! And of course, artists are creative but then so are children and according to UNESCO we are all creative. Overuse has rendered it devoid of meaning – so, is it even worth investigating, especially from the economic point of view? The ‘creative economy’ has become a buzz word, a slogan, something that is unquestionably true. And it is easy to see why Ministries of Culture have embraced it so whole-heartedly: it empowers them to be in the forefront of the quest for economic growth, just as that other buzz word ‘the economic impact of the arts’ did 20 years ago. But Ministries of Economic Affairs are also on the bandwagon. So, if I am scornful of the endless appeal to the creative economy, why choose this theme? Well, the reason is that if these terms ‘creative economy’ and ‘creative industries’ are to be taken seriously (and governments from here to Uruguay have policies for them), economists should be capable of analysing them, especially cultural economists. Put simply: if the creative economy is such a good thing, can an economy be made more creative and if so, how? - do we know how to create creativity? Is it something that is amenable to social engineering? These questions have to be answered if we are to believe that government policies can promote the creative economy.
- copyright law
- labour markets