|Title:||Promoting Progress: A Qualitative Analysis of Creative and Innovative Production|
|Citation:||Sibley, J. (2014) Promoting Progress: A Qualitative Analysis of Creative and Innovative Production, in The SAGE Handbook of Intellectual Property (SAGE Publications, 2014), p. 515|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Garcia, Hicks and McCrary (2020)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from 50 semi-structured interviews with artists, scientists, lawyers and business managers from diverse fields. Thereafter, transcripts were coded according to conceptual themes, doubly assisted with the use of Atlas.ti software.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“This chapter is based on data collected as part of a larger qualitative empirical study based on face-to-face interviews with artists, scientists, engineers, their lawyers, agents and business partners. Broadly, the project involves the collecting and analysis of these interviews to understand how and why the interviewees create and innovate and to make sense of the intersection between intellectual property law and creative and innovative activity from the ground up. This chapter specifically investigates the concept of “progress” as discussed in the interviews. “Promoting progress” is the ostensible goal of the intellectual property protection in the United States, but what exactly “progress” means is largely a mystery – doctrinally, culturally and empirically. This chapter describes but avoids solving the mystery in terms of the theoretical literature and instead investigates the notion of “progress” in terms of the motives the interviewees provide for engaging in creative and innovative behavior that is (or could be) protected as intellectual property. Across the interviews, there are common themes that tie together specific notions of progress as related to personal desires as well as public benefits. The chapter will describe these themes and investigate whether and how intellectual property facilitates the various forms of “progress” envisioned or hoped for by the interviewees.”
Main Results of the Study
“Progress” is understood to have two characteristics: first, it is directional (improving upon former knowledge), and; secondly it is qualitative (it must be better than what came before). As such, progress may involve an intellectual challenge, uniqueness and novelty; it fills a particular need. Previous works are perceived as a catalyst or inspiration to creating new works.
Everyday working practices are an important factor in determining progress. In this regard, creators often don’t use the full ambit of the rights they are entitled to and are instead selective about what they enforce; in this respect, they may excuse some transformative uses, but pursue derogatory uses. This is in part related to a strong desire for attribution, related to the identity a creator has with their work (and centrality of reputation).
Creators also point to progress as having community centric values which are also at odds with the exclusive control offered by copyright. Creators across different fields value sharing work widely in order that others may experience the work. In this sense, the author concludes that “progress is achieved when work and practice can continue and when its harvest can be enjoyed, used and repurposed within the community”.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the study does not offer any explicit policy recommendations, it does recommend that in the event of reform that lawmakers take into account the “public availability baseline… for broad access and use”, reflective of the tension between the availability of exclusive rights yet relative unweildiness of them.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Creators|
|Period of material under study:|