Culture-related aspects of intellectuals property rights: a cross-cultural analysis of copyright
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This study presented a critical investigation of the mainstream neo-liberal approach to global intellectual property rights protection. There is a widespread but incorrect perception in the contemporary intellectual property policy regime that ineffective copyright protection in developing countries is primarily an institutional problem deriving from the lack of economic capacity and jurisprudential systems. Arguing that the conventional policy regime offers only a limited account for global copyright protection, this study aimed to show that inadequate copyright protection is not only an institutional but also historically contingent cultural problem. For the purpose, the present study conducted two phases of investigation: (1) a cross- national data analysis of software piracy and (2) comparative historical analysis of authorship in England and China. The first study empirically examined the key determinants of software piracy in the contemporary international market. From multivariate statistical analyses of international data, the study attempted to identify significant factors facilitating software piracy. Special attention was paid to identifying the influence of national culture in software piracy when other institutional factors were controlled. The results showed that a combined outcome of multiple factors including national income, institutional capacity for property protection, in-group collectivist cultural practices, and attitudes toward international intellectual property protection explains the software piracy problem. The second study aimed to provide a more in-depth understanding of the historical linkage between copyright and culture. It traced the historical formation of authorship in English and Chinese print culture to examine whether and why there emerged contrasting conceptions of authorship between them. The findings showed that there was a distinctive historical divergence of material, ideological, and institutional contexts of print culture, which led to different authorship conceptions between England and China. This implies that authorship as the fundamental cultural basis of modern copyright law was not a natural and universal phenomenon inevitably arising from the printing press but rather historically and culturally contingent.