Martin Zeilinger

Host institution

York University

Granting agency


Project title

Cultural appropriation in the digital era: intellectual property policy and collaborative creativity in audiovisual sampling and remixing

Project description

Martin Zeilinger's research examines the cultural and legal implications of copying digital information and explores new approaches to the governance of cultural appropriation. Easily replicable and sharable digital media have turned copying and cultural appropriation into integral aspects of contemporary life. Practical contexts suggest that many such activities should be considered part of the human right to free expression and the right to participate in social and cultural life, yet these practices are often vilified as interfering with private or corporate intellectual property

Focusing on alternative best practices of collaborative creativity and cultural exchange, Martin analyzes and documents emerging ethics and norms of cultural appropriation that successfully operate outside the logic of modern intellectual property discourse. Demonstrating that neither legal nor cultural scholarship alone can effectively respond to the challenges posed by emerging new media contexts, his research will model an interdisciplinary cultural rights approach to enrich current cultural policy reform debates, for the shared benefit of the embattled public domain and all individuals who engage in practices of copying and sharing in their everyday lives.

Martin holds a PhD in Comparative Literature (University of Toronto, 2009), and has taught in Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, and Communication Culture and Information Technology since 2008. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and books, and has been presented across North America and Europe. His research interests have strongly benefitted from a personal background as a practicing musician and visual artist.

Originally from Austria, Martin Zeilinger moved to Canada in 2003 to pursue graduate studies.

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