Since last time I checked we are still the ones making the laws that determine how we interpret what we, as humans do with our time here. For example, we could have a completely different understanding of what an individual is and what it is they "own". If a society decided an individual was basically a node through which passed many ideas and to which that individual could apply itself to explore, reshape and release the ideas in new forms, there may very well be a more collective ownership philosophy. This "node" might then be compensated (in both material gains and reputation/status) but not necessarily seen as possessing sole ownership. A clearer view on what is actually happening in the creative act (or a distorted view or alternate view) would still be something we collectively agreed upon, even if we think we have hit upon some universal truth. So, to your what that's what I say. As for when? It is constantly in flux and being renegotiated all the time even if that means simply tweaking and upholding the status quo. I put ownership in quotes to show that the understanding of what this means is not as solid as we might like to think. There are different breeds of ownership. I for one think there is a kind of ownership that once you experience a work and especially when you do not dismiss it, you, as an individual and as a node and participant in the societal discourse now possess this as a part of your vocabulary, your arsenal of ideas and visions if you will. You have participated in bringing it to life and making meaning by watching, engaging and interacting with it on all sorts of levels. And once such things (popular films, books, ideas, philosophies, constitutions, creeds, understandings, etc) become a more or less "fixed" part of our cultural landscapes, we do, in a very real way, own them. They are a part of us now, we cannot be made to let go of them. If own is the wrong word, maybe we could use something like adopted? So we don't have any legal rights (except when copyright expires, which used to be much faster....which already shows an entirely different approach to the idea of the ownership of ideas etc) but we now have close to us, integrated into our thoughts, these new visions and ideas. Legally, once the law has been negotiated and agreed upon, things like who gets to do what with it and for how long and in what fashion does attempt to overcome perhaps some natural tendencies of "adoption" and in that sense, of course most of us realize that this has to be respected to a degree. But it does not mean it cannot be challenged. As it has been in the past and continues to be especially by large corporate entities such as Disney. Yes the movie does not exist independently of our interaction with it. It does not clearly communicate single, unified, fixed ideas or emotions or whatever. We, the audience do this work without even realizing it. The artist brings to it pointers and suggestions to varying degrees but there is always room to interpret and feel and react and bring things to the "table". Which is exactly why boards like these go in circles.