January 20, 2015

Copyright, Romance Writing, and Gender

Rebecca Tushnet, Georgetown University Law Center, is publishing The Romantic Author and the Romance Writer: Resisting Gendered Concepts of Creativity in Diversity in Intellectual Property (Irene Calboli & Sridlhya Ragavan, eds.; Cambridge University Press (2015). Here is the abstract.

Dominant narratives of creativity regularly expect female-associated forms of creativity to be provisioned naturally without need for the economic incentives provided by exclusive rights, just like housework and childcare. Even as the concept of Romantic authorship has come under sustained analytic assault, its challengers often look elsewhere – to the kinds of creativity in which men are more likely to participate – to find models of situated, always-influenced authorship. In this chapter, I examine one variant of the problem, in which certain arguments about copyright discount the value of forms that are predominantly produced and enjoyed by women. But creative works in these oft-denigrated genres, such as media fandom, open up new possibilities in sexual and gender relations, and women learn to see themselves as valuable speakers by becoming creators. As a result, increasing the visibility of women’s creative works, including explicitly transformative works based on specific copyrighted predecessors, is an important part of rejecting the fetishization of Romantic authorship and valuing diverse kinds of creativity.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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