Chapter 8

Ctrl C + Ctrl V: The Rise of the Copy and the Fall of the Author

By Casey Lynch

ABSTRACT: This chapter will discuss a popular topic in contemporary artistic production: appropriation. The author will first discuss the notion of originality in the contemporary world, calling into question both the ideas of originality and appropriation when viewed as functions of the evolutionary process. The author will then discuss authorship and ownership in our contemporary digital society. In doing so, the author asks the question, “if no act is original, how can we allow ‘intellectual property’ to be owned?” A look into the nature of digital technology and various Internet phenomena will be used to address this question. The intended result of this inquiry is to further problematize the notions of purity in art, originality, and the intellectual rights of a creative author.

Join the discussion: