Chiptuning Intellectual Property: Digital Culture Between Creative Commons and Moral Economy


  • Martin J. Zeilinger York University



Chipmusic, Creative Commons, Moral Economy, Intellectual Property, Demoscene


A multitude of legal restrictions imposed on digital creative expressions impact how musicians are able (or unable) to practice their craft. This essay considers how chipmusic deals with this impact. In exploring the form’s close ties to appropriation-based production techniques and its use of Creative Commons licenses, I describe it as an active site for implicit critiques of restrictive copyright regimes. I conclude by considering the concept of a moral economy of appropriation-based creative techniques as a new framework for understanding digital creative practices that are characterized by shared cultural norms and resist conventional intellectual property policy.

Author Biography

Martin J. Zeilinger, York University

SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in Law and Culture


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