11 May 2009

Stand Up Comedy and Intellectual Property

The intellectual property norms of stand up comedians are discussed here:

Does intellectual property law supply incentives to produce and distribute creative goods? In some salient contexts, the answer is "no" or, at least, "not so much." . . . stand-up comedians are creative and productive folks who live by a system of social norms, rather than by a system of intellectual property law.

Not only does this comic code encourage creativity, it also apparently has something to do with comedy itself. . . . Comedy once was a commons, but social norms privatized its contents.

The changes are attributed to changes in how comedy was delivered to the public (e.g. ablums), in the 1960s.

This discussion is part of the larger discussions of the divergences between living law and statutory law, and of the inadequecy of modern intellectual property law (and in particular copyright) to stike the right balance between protecting ideas and allowing ideas to be shared, through overproduction of intellectual property rights.

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