Book Review: The State of Creativity: The Future of 3D Printing, 4D Printing and Augmented Reality

A monograph by Dr James Griffin, a Senior Lecturer at University of Exeter and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, discusses the concept of creativity, how its centrality within the legal regulation has shifted, and what the future of a creative State might look like.

Image: Elgar Law, Technology and Society
In the introductory part, Dr Griffin reflects on the history of productive creation and how creativity, in the form of collaboration and conflict, has been an integral part of human history and a necessity of the human condition. Special attention is drawn to the relationship between the creative individual and the State. The author argues that the centrality of a creative endeavour should be considered in the legal regulation of creative works.

The monograph then   proceeds to explore to what degree State regulation has begun to depart from the core concerns of creativity and, in doing so, considers how individuals’ own creativity is influenced by the creativity of others. Dr Griffin considers the issue of creativity within the individual, which despite lying at the core of the human experience, tends to be limited at the State level to issues of economics and property rights.

The author distinguishes between ‘inner creativity’ (individual ideas and thoughts), which is shielded from State interference, and ‘outer creativity’ (physical expression of ideas), which the State can and does seek to affect. The Law seeks to regulate the substance of thought, but ultimately only regulates the output, which does not directly control inner creative thought, but nevertheless may influence subsequent thoughts and acts of expression. New technologies, such as 3D and 4D printing, and augmented reality, presumably allow for a “more nuanced and precise [State] intervention in the thoughts of the individual, by more closely regulating not just what can be expressed, but also the mechanic processes of creating.”

Griffin reflects on the work of a number of philosophers, notably Plato, Locke, Hume and Nietzsche, as they contemplate creativity while focusing on its different catalysts and the functional relationship of creativity to the State. Against this background, the author concludes that “[i]t is the nature of creativity that binds society together and so it is that we need to analyse and critique if society is to become more ontologically concerned with its core”.  The State’s increasing (?) reliance on concepts of property and economy as the lens by which to view the creative process may not only lead to a blurring of the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ distinction but also serve as a potential suppressor of creativity altogether. Dr Griffin explores whether intellectual property rights provided by law are appropriate in the modern era and proposes specific ways how the traditional statutory focus may be expanded.

The author criticises the current legislative system, whereby the emphasis is placed on protecting right holders from infringement.  This is best seen in the author criticism of legislation driven by “unjustified threats”, where the statutory provisions are principally based on a threat of legal action in relation to specific types of rights, but the threat of action is not justified because there is a reduced likelihood of success should the action reaches trial. Instead, he argues, the focus should be placed on the production of knowledge and the necessity of creativity in doing so.

A chapter is dedicated to investigating the concept of reproduction as part of the proprietary discourse. According to Dr Griffin, when it comes to the notion of the reproduction of third party rights, the Law takes a most circumscribed view, resting on the premise of an individual creator, working in isolation without reproducing the thoughts and ideas of others. Such assumptions are no longer credible (if they ever were) and a proper appreciation of technological advance should presuppose one’s ability to share information. Creative sharing (and re-sharing) is contrasted with, in the words of the author, the “mindless enforcement of historic proprietary boundaries”, thus calling for the traditional concepts of property and capitalism to be superseded by merit and entitlement to avoid limiting creative expression.

Chapters 7-9 focus on the proposed systems of regulation and governance of creativity: (1) identifying the processes of creativity; (2) reforming the licensing system and establishing a creativity fund to allow easier access to copyrighted works and to provide financial means for the creators; and (3) introducing a new regulatory body - Digital Copyright Exchange Tribunal, would be a means through which the State could directly interface with creativity. [Merpel has to jump in here - so only a new State bureaucracy can solve the problems of the State's misconduct in facilitating creativity?].

The closing chapter discusses the future of the creative State. Dr Griffin embraces the task of resolving the conflict between State regulation with a capitalistic undertone and the focus on better facilitating creativity. The author calls upon the State to refocus its attention to creativity, contending that the making of a cultural work, specifically a copyrighted work, is a key to the future of the State in the information age. The current disjunction between the creative process and bureaucratic regulation should be reformulated in such a way that it ensures that latter does not materially frustrate the former; instead, there should be an engagement between them.

Thus, legal rules should encourage creation of new works rather than preserving the “prescriptive bureaucratic acceptance of rigid property boundaries”, because the technology is removing the need for such boundaries. Centrality of creativity could potentially lead to further creativity and subsequently to the generation of new property and capital.

This book will be particularly useful to scholars and students interested in pondering how the relation between creativity and legal regulation will play out in the face of emerging technologies. Regulators and policy makers may also find it helpful in considering legal reforms that are aimed at better shaping the creative State.

Extent: 304 pp
ISBN: 978 1 78643 826 3
Hardback: EE Website £81.00
E-Book: Google Play £21.92
Book Review: The State of Creativity: The Future of 3D Printing, 4D Printing and Augmented Reality Book Review: The State of Creativity: The Future of 3D Printing, 4D Printing and Augmented Reality Reviewed by Ieva Giedrimaite on Sunday, June 30, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.