Creators of Artmob

Dr. Rosemary J. Coombe is the Tier One Canadian Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture at York University. She leads and supports the Artmob project with her research on the cultural, political, and social implications of intellectual property law, as well as policy issues predicted for the next generation of digital technologies.

See Dr. Coombe's official website or CV for more information.

Dr. Christopher Innes is a Distinguished Research Professor at York University and also a Research Professor at Copenhagen University. Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), since 2002 he has held a Canada Research Chair in Performance and Culture, and is a newly appointed York Research Chair. He has also held Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at Corpus Christi and St. John’s Colleges, Cambridge; at Newcastle University, Australia, Ohtani University, Japan, and the Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Germany. Author of fifteen books and General Editor of the Cambridge “Directors in Perspective” series, he was co-editor of the quarterly journal Modern Drama, and is the founder of one of Artmob’s pilot partnerships,

David M. Meurer holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University. Drawing on 15 years experience as a user interface developer and project manager in digital media, he provides day-to-day oversight of Artmob infrastructure maintenance and development.

Dr. Darren Wershler from Concordia University previously served as a co-investigator.


Artmob has also involved the work of many York University graduate student assistants funded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as well as undergraduate research assistants in the Research at York Program:

Martin Zeilinger holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto and was a SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in Law and Culture at York University from 2011 to 2013. In addition to his support for Artmob, Zeilinger collaborated with Coombe on a number of projects, including his project Cultural appropriation in the digital era: intellectual property, policy and collaborative creativity in audiovisual sampling and remixing, as well as multiple publications. Zeilinger has been a faculty member in the Osnabrück International Summer Institute for the Cultural Study of Law since 2011.

Joseph F. Turcotte has been a PhD Candidate in the Communication and Culture Program at York University since 2010, and was a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow from 2012 to 2014. Turcotte has collaborated with Coombe on a number of publications and presentations. He has received a Graduate Fellowship at the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, and is now a contributing editor of IPlogue, an online review focused on intellectual property and technology law, coordinated by IP Osgoode at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Laura Fox is a first year MA student in the Communication and Culture Program at York University, with research interests in digital storytelling, non-profit communications, and transmedia activism. As a graduate assistant to Coombe, she is currently assisting in the updating and redeployment of Artmob.

Ren Bucholz completed his Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in 2008. He contributed research for Coombe at the Electronic Freedom Foundation and, having completed a law degree in 2011, now works as a lawyer. He contributed to Coombe’s publication Dynamic Fair Dealing and continues to act as a legal consultant for Artmob.

Brady Curlew was a doctoral student at York University working on new media and intellectual property issues under Coombe’s co-supervision. Curlew assisted in the creation of Artmob as part of Coombe’s SSHRC Image, Text, Sound, Technology Grant, helping to establish new partnerships with arts organizations.

Dave Fernandez holds Master’s degree in Communication and Culture, in which Coombe supervised his major research paper titled “Exploring Copyright Law’s Preoccupation with Interactivity: A Genealogy of the Public Performance Right for Sound Recordings”. Fernandez now holds a policy position with the CRTC in Ottawa.

Marcus Griebel worked as a research assistant on Artmob for two years while he was completing his MA in Communication and Culture at York University. Coombe supervised his major research paper, titled “’Inextricable Links’ and ‘Innovation Bridges’: Tracing the Multiscalar Conjunctures and Generative Possibilities of Repatriating Crop Genetic Resources as Biocultural Heritage”. Griebel has worked with Coombe on multiple publications and presentations, and continues to collaborate with her on Civil Society Organization research.

Lewis Kaye worked as a research assistant under Coombe’s supervision for three years, in the area of intellectual property management on the Internet.

Yacine Dottridge completed his Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in 2012. Coombe supervised his major research paper titled “Creative Exploitation: Intellectual Property as a Form of Neoliberal Cultural Policy”, which investigates how intellectual property rights contribute to shifting work-life balances in creative industries and the dispossession of creative labour.

Lisa Dobbin completed her Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in 2012. Coombe supervised her major research paper titled “The Pirate Party Movement: Charting a Course Towards Copyright Reform in the Digital Era”, which was revised as a chapter, co-authored with Martin Zeilinger, titled “Treasuring IP: Free Culture, Media Piracy, and the International Pirate Party Movement” in the Sage Handbook of Intellectual Property in 2014.

Hilary Chan completed her Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in 2012. She helped prepare digital archives for Artmob, and Coombe supervised her major research paper titled “Ready-made Experience: Consumer Culture, the Consumer and President’s Choice Frozen Meals”.

Chris Bowes worked as a research assistant for Coombe from 2009 to 2012 and assisted in digitization tasks for Artmob.

Research Infrastructure and Development Training

Some graduate students received highly specialized training facilitated with the help of two research infrastructures funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). These initiatives provide an environment for students with pre-existing technical skills to explore practical and theoretical issues surrounding cultural policy, copyright, and intellectual property regimes. Conversely, students grounded in cultural theory and intellectual property debates are exposed to practical and technical aspects of new media development projects.

Artmob creator David Meurer has been significantly involved with these initiatives since 2007, as well as others:

Peter John Hartman, a graduate student now at the University of Toronto, was the primary software developer for research infrastructure and development training under the IOF-LOF grant awarded to Coombe and Wershler from 2006 to 2008. His skills working with the middleware and scripting languages improved considerably with his involvement in the initiative, and he developed a greater degree of comprehension of public licensing systems and copyright issues.

Andrea Kosavic has been a PhD candidate since 2013, working under Coombe’s supervision and assisting in development plans for the use of Artmob in university library archives.

In the academic years from 2007 to 2009, three new MA students (Julia Aoki, Hilary Chan, and Heather Hogan) were hired to research online cultural archives, fair dealing, and cultural heritage funding policies, contributing to the Coombe’s digital architecture. From 2009, Bowes and Griebel joined the team, and from 2010 to 2011, Zachary Singer became involved in maintenance and security operations.

Pilot Partnerships and Archives

Artmob was created through partnerships with a number of arts organizations. For more information visit our archives.