Creativity and the Law

How does the law affect culture and creativity? Three issues are preeminent legal concerns for the next decade: Copyright and Intellectual Property, Free Expression and Content Control, and Consolidation and Consumer Choice. Legal challenges, court decisions, and a changing regulatory framework will make a tremendous impact upon our cultural life.

Copyright, which provides exclusive right to a creator for a limited amount of time to encourage and reward creativity, was designed originally to benefit the general public good that results from the creation and distribution of creative works. Over time, copyright has shifted its balance from public benefit to private reward.

The First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression, often clashes with copyright law in establishing the rules of the public domain.

Consolidation of media companies will also play an important part in developing cultural policies. While audiences are bombarded with more and more channels of information and venues of distribution, these same media outlets are decreasing rapidly in their diversity of ownership.

The Center for Arts and Culture tracks developments in these three changing legal constructs that affect the marketplace of ideas.