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Intellectual Property and the Construction of Un/Ethical Audiences
chapterposted on 2015-02-23, 10:24 authored by Natasha Whiteman
Audiences have always misbehaved. Yet the form that this ‘misbehaviour’ has taken has changed over time, in the face of shifting notions of the ‘rights’ of audiences and varying ideas regarding ‘appropriate’ audience behaviour (Butsch, 2000). As industry struggles to regulate the activities of contemporary audiences, this chapter examines the ethical stances constructed by academics in their work on audiences and intellectual property. Drawing from constructionist/discursive approaches to the audience, the chapter argues that just as the audience ‘does not exist,’ neither do the ethics of audiences. It suggests that scholars might reflect on how they deny/assert the rights and responsibilities of audiences, and how, in positioning the audience as ethical/unethical, they also position themselves. A distinction between ethical competence and ethical performance is presented as providing one way of interrogating the ethical positioning in this scholarship. This distinction provides a conceptual framework for examining researchers’ assessments of the ethics of contemporary audiences and the slippages between normative and descriptive formulations in this growing body of literature.
CitationWhiteman, N, Intellectual Property and the Construction of Un/Ethical Audiences, ed. Halbert, D;David, M, 'SAGE Handbook of Intellectual Property.', SAGE, 2014
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Media and Communication
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