Zachary Kaiser

A collaboratively written journal article that sits at the intersection of my expertise (design) with my mother's expertise (the law). Written for the special section on Design and the Law for the journal Design and Culture.

This article discusses the implications for the creative process of digital platforms such as BitStrips, which are “simultaneously … cultural product and raw material offering [designers] new opportunities for cultural production.” While many commonly used platforms merely allow for the sharing of preexisting content, numerous emerging platforms are also means of creative expression. Designers and design educators must pay attention to the ways in which intellectual property law and contract law grant the owners of such platforms the right to control creativity. The authors therefore call on designers and artists to use their talents to create tangible critiques of the systems and assumptions that undergird intellectual property legislation and private ordering mechanisms (such as license agreements) in order to make their voices heard, provoke discussion, and resist marginalization, and to ensure that the value of future creativity is not so narrowly defined as to accrue only to those in control of future platform technologies.