From Corn to Norms: How IP Entitlements Affect What Stand-Up Comedians Create

Volume 95

95 Va. L. Rev. Online 57
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In There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy we explored how, why, and what stand-up comedians have created at different points in the history of stand-up comedy. From this study, we offered insights into how intellectual property (“IP”) law affects human motivation to create, how legal and non-legal motivations interact, and how the emergence of IP entitlements (in comedians’ case, norm-based entitlements) may change creative practices. 
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have received four insightful responses to our paper by scholars who each have done great work on IP and social norms. We thank each of them for commenting on our work. Reading their responses made us think again about the boundaries of our project, and about the implications of our findings and arguments. Their critiques are both internal to the paper—taking issue with our findings and logic—and external, suggesting possible extensions and noting questions for future research. We cannot, given the breadth and depth of the response papers and the time and space allotted to us, give each of the critiques the full attention they deserve. We will focus our reply on what we see as the core issues identified in each of the responses.

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