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On a per capita basis, do African-American authors produce more copyright registrations than non-Hispanic whites? Do men and women show a within-group bias in choosing co-authors? And what decade in the average musician’s life is the most productive? This article provides answers to these questions – which happen to be yes, yes, and the 20s, respectively – and many more by statistically analyzing the 15 million entries that comprise the Copyright Office’s full record of registered works from 1978 through 2012. It provides a variety of perspectives on individuals’ creativity in modern-day America and on the beneficiaries of our copyright system along the axes of race, gender and age. Its findings suggest a need to promote greater diversity and equality in the processes of cultural production and the making of social meaning.

GW Paper Series

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2016-48; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-48

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