Joseph F. Turcotte

Published On


Page Range

pp. 347-378

Print Length

31 pages

13. Show Me the Copy! How Digital Media (Re)Assert Relational Creativity, Complicating Existing Intellectual Property and Publishing Paradigms

  • Joseph F. Turcotte (author)
Advances in electronic – and digital now – technologies have given new life to socio-cultural practices based on the appropriation and re-combination of already existing cultural resources. From Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s pioneering use of electronic media to the outer-boroughs of New York City where the pioneers of hip-hop music used turntables and vinyl records to create a new art form, electronic technologies continue to facilitate emerging and innovative creative practices while rekindling marginalized forms of social and cultural production. The rise of digital technologies has similarly contributed to the birth of a so-called remix culture, wherein existing texts and cultural works are appropriated, combined, in novel and potentially transformative ways. Such practices demonstrate the vitality of relational creativity and the re-emergence of socially embedded and technologically constituted forms of knowledge production, dissemination, and collaboration. However, existing intellectual property (IP) law, in general, and copyright law, in particular, remain grounded on normative foundations that privilege Romantic conceptions of individual genius and creativity. This essay argues that existing IP law does not properly align with how human creativity occurs and, therefore, does not reflect the emerging conditions of knowledge production facilitated by digital technologies and the re-assertion of relational creativity.


Joseph F. Turcotte