Edwards, Lee, & Giles Moss (2020). Evaluating justifications of copyright: An exercise in public engagement. Information, Communication & Society, 23(7), 927-946. (doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1534984) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1534984)

Abstract: Copyright law has a significant impact on public access to and use of creative works and can lead to the imposition of sanctions for infringements. Decisions about copyright law should therefore be justified to the public, but current consultation practices have not included the public voice adequately. This article presents the findings of a deliberative event where members of the UK public were asked to engage in-depth with different aspects of copyright law and its implementation. Participants drew on different justifications in assessing copyright, which we interpret in terms of Boltanski and Thévenot’s ‘market’, ‘civic’, and ‘inspired’ orders of worth, and their views shifted over the course of the weekend as a result of the deliberative process. The findings challenge common perceptions that copyright policy is both too dry and too complex for the public to engage in and demonstrate the value of deliberation as a means of involving the public more effectively in this complex policy issue.

Lee Edwards <l.edwards2@lse.ac.uk> is in the School of Media and Communication, London School of Economics, London; and University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

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