Who Owns Culture Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law By Susal Scafildi It is not uncommon for white suburban youths to perform rap music, for New York fashion designers to ransack the world's closets for inspiration, or for Euro-American authors to adopt the voice of a geisha or shaman. But who really owns these art forms? Is it the community in which they were originally generated, or the culture that has absorbed them?
While claims of authenticity or quality may prompt some consumers to seek cultural products at their source, the communities of origin are generally unable to exclude copyists through legal action. Like other works of unincorporated group authorship, cultural products lack protection under our system of intellectual property law. But is this legal vacuum an injustice, the lifeblood of American culture, a historical oversight, a result of administrative incapacity, or all of the above?
Who Owns Culture? offers the first comprehensive analysis of cultural authorship and appropriation within American law. From indigenous art to Linux, Susan Scafidi takes the reader on a tour of the no-man's-land between law and culture, pausing to ask: What prompts us to offer legal protection to works of literature, but not folklore? What does it mean for a creation to belong to a community, especially a diffuse or fractured one? And is our national culture the product of Yankee ingenuity or cultural kleptomania?
Providing new insights to communal authorship, cultural appropriation, intellectual property law, and the formation of American culture, this innovative and accessible guide greatly enriches future legal understanding of cultural production.
The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation by James O Young
The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation undertakes a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic questions that arise from the practice of cultural appropriation.
Explores cultural appropriation in a wide variety of contexts, among them the arts and archaeology, museums, and religion
Questions whether cultural appropriation is always morally objectionable
Includes research that is equally informed by empirical knowledge and general normative theory
Provides a coherent and authoritative perspective gained by the collaboration of philosophers and specialists in the field who all participated in this unique research project
Cultural Appropriation and the arts by James O Young
Now, for the first time, a philosopher undertakes a systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise.
Cultural appropriation is a pervasive feature of the contemporary world (the Parthenon Marbles remain in London; white musicians from Bix Beiderbeck to Eric Clapton have appropriated musical styles from African-American culture)
Young offers the first systematic philosophical investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise
Tackles head on the thorny issues arising from the clash and integration of cultures and their artifacts
Questions considered include: “Can cultural appropriation result in the production of aesthetically successful works of art?” and “Is cultural appropriation in the arts morally objectionable?”
Part of the highly regarded New Directions in Aesthetics series