Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Article Title

Money Ruins Everything


The statement, "it's hard to compete with free," encapsulates the most important recent developments in intellectual property policy and some of the most significant social trends of our time. Because amateur creators produce content for the love it and are prepared to work for free-or even to lose money to feed their desire to create-their existence threatens the economic assumptions of commercial providers of content. As a result, the rise of amateurism calls into question some fundamental assumptions we have about the public policy of innovation, the way that innovation occurs within society, and the incentives necessary to produce valuable innovations in our society. This article explores how to understand the next stage in the development of innovation, intellectual property, and cultural policy by explaining the rise, significance, and difficulties with amateur production as modality of innovation and creative production. It goes further to examine the legal issues that emerge as a result of these changes. This article specifically argues that a strong case to suggest that amateurism deserves support from the state exists and provides specific public policy and legal reforms that will be necessary to ensure the continued success of amateur innovation.