Creativity and Its Discontents: China’s Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights Offenses

Creativity and Its Discontents: China’s Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights Offenses

Laikwan Pang

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0822350823

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Creativity and Its Discontents is a sharp critique of the intellectual property rights (IPR)–based creative economy, particularly as it is embraced or ignored in China. Laikwan Pang argues that the creative economy—in which creativity is an individual asset to be commodified and protected as property—is an intensification of Western modernity and capitalism at odds with key aspects of Chinese culture. Nevertheless, globalization has compelled China to undertake endeavors involving intellectual property rights. Pang examines China's IPR-compliant industries, as well as its numerous copyright violations. She describes how China promotes intellectual property rights in projects such as the development of cultural tourism in the World Heritage city of Lijiang, the transformation of Hong Kong cinema, and the cultural branding of Beijing. Meanwhile, copyright infringement proliferates, angering international trade organizations. Pang argues that piracy and counterfeiting embody the intimate connection between creativity and copying. She points to the lack of copyright protections for Japanese anime as the motor of China's dynamic anime culture. Theorizing the relationship between knockoffs and appropriation art, Pang offers an incisive interpretation of China's flourishing art scene. Creativity and Its Discontents is a refreshing rejoinder to uncritical celebrations of the creative economy.

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illusion that my work is important. They are dear to me. Some of the research carried out for this book was made possible by the generous support of the Hong Kong Research Grant Council and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. My research also benefited from the contributions of my research assistants at various stages; they include Amy Li, Olive Cheung, Zhou Weiwei, Yeung Yang, and Joseph Li. The colleagues and students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, my home institute, support my work,

market calculations—and this, I think, is a unique feature of creative labor that merits further exploration. Creative Labor: Input and Processing Marxist discussion of raw materials is valuable to our understanding of creative labor, because the new economy is characterized by the feeding of creativity—as one more type of raw material—into the chain of production. In classical Marxism, there are three elements necessary for capitalist production: raw material, labor power, and machinery; these

contribution of trIP s is in the realm of enforcement, because it is administered by the powerful World Trade Organization (WtO ), which directly links IPr to the chains of trade.18 The Agreement entitles a member country whose nationals are in- 72 Chapter Three jured by another member country’s failure to comply with trIP s standards to file a complaint with a WtO panel; if the panel finds noncompliance, the victim country can employ otherwise proscribed trade sanctions against the offending

nothing but a leap of faith.33 Cinema and Place Many local viewers have strongly supported Hong Kong cinema because of its intimate reflection of the city’s collective ethos, and many international critics celebrate its place-based productions as opposed to Hollywood’s Americacentric transnational hegemony.34 Historically the films made in Hong Kong were largely conditioned by actual events in the city and by the people’s collective emotions, which naturally provide topics, incentives, and a

rootlessness among poor artists in Beijing. They are attracted to places with low rent and increased opportunities, and now that rents in 798 and Songzhuang Branding the Creative City 157 have become too high, many of them are trying their luck in cheaper, adjacent areas, forming smaller artist villages in Suojiacun (索家村) and Caochangdi (草場地).75 From Yuanmingyuan to Songzhuang to other outlying areas of Beijing, there is a clear nomadic history among this generation of young Chinese artists,

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