By Jane M. Gaines
Jane M. Gaines examines the phenomenon of pictures as estate, targeting the felony staus of automatically produced visible and audio photos from pop culture. Bridging the fields of serious felony stories and cultural reports, she analyzes copyright, trademark, and highbrow estate legislations, asking how the legislation constructs works of authorship and who owns the country's cultural history.
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Additional resources for Contested Culture: The Image, the Voice, and the Law (Cultural Studies of the United States)
Each chapter takes one or more written opinions as its organizing focus. Page 5 The Double Movement of Legal Culture Legal doctrine as a discourse has some structural similarity to popular culture as defined by British cultural studies. Stuart Hall, in "Notes on Deconstructing 'The Popular,"' describes popular culture as neither a fully appropriated territory (a space of containment) nor a space seized by the popular classes (a space of resistance). "The popular" is instead a middle ground between opposing social forces.
With its mixed bag of knowledges, its characteristic inconsistencies, ideology cannot deliver analysis, cannot give us any distance on a culture within which its primary function is to keep existing social relations intact. And it is therefore a significant challenge to legal doctrine to charge that it promises science and gives us ideology instead. "45 What Hall writes of ideology is also true of the law, which cannot question its own categories (authorship, private property, right), since it depends upon them for its perpetuation.
Whereas British critical legal studies is theoretically compatible with British cultural studies in its reliance on Marxist thought, its American CLS counterpart accommodates more theoretical variation, including positions skeptical of Marxist theory. I have set out to consider iconic similarity, the author's right in the work, and post mortem rights in the celebrity image (rights after death) as a contribution to an emerging American cultural studies. But ultimately I want to demonstrate the effectivity of the Marxist features of British cultural studies.