The commoditisation of culture: folklore, playwriting and copyright in Ghana

Collins, Stephen (2015) The commoditisation of culture: folklore, playwriting and copyright in Ghana. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In this thesis I consider the interface between copyright law and cultural practice. I argue that the protection of folklore through copyright obfuscates the status of folklore as a generative resource for derivative works in favour of its status as a carrier of national identity, over which states can exercise property rights. Specifically, I analyse the significance of folklore within the playwriting culture of Ghana and discuss how, within this specific context, the introduction of the 2005 Copyright Act (which requires nationals to seek permission and pay a fee to use folklore), rather than incentivising artists to create derivative works from folklore, significantly disrupts the ability of playwrights to continue to create work that reflects the codified theatrical practice established in Ghana post independence. As such, the Ghana Copyright Act, 2005 threatens to jeopardise the fundamental balance in copyright between protection and access, and so the purpose of copyright as a mechanism for incentivising artists. Through exploring the development of the relationship between folklore and copyright and how protection for folklore interacts at the international, continental and sub-regional levels, this thesis examines both the potential impact of the copyright law in Ghana and the efficacy of protecting folklore through a copyright paradigm at all.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Folklore, copyright, theatre, playwriting, Ghana, colonial, postcolonial, colonialism, WIPO, UNESCO, Africa, West Africa, culture, cultural policy,
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
K Law > K Law (General)
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Deazley, Professor Ronan
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr S Collins
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6263
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 15:56
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 11:04

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