The Author as Steward 'For Limited Times': A Review of 'The Idea of Authorship in Copyright'
Roberta Rosenthal Kwall
DePaul University - College of Law
Boston University Law Review, Vol. 88, 2008
Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 08-02
The DePaul University College of Law, Technology, Law & Culture Research Series Paper No. 09-004
In THE IDEA OF AUTHORSHIP IN COPYRIGHT, Professor Lior Zemer attempts to conceptually reorganize copyright's entitlement structure by positing the public as a joint author of every copyrighted work. This Review delineates and critiques the main points of Zemer's thesis and analyzes the practical implications of his work. It then looks beyond Zemer's specific recommendations and suggests how his perspective may provide a useful basis for further scholarly contemplation. Specifically, it proposes that a different way of addressing Zemer's concern for the public domain is to denominate the colloquial author as a steward. Understanding the colloquial author as a steward of her work is consistent with the view that copyright ownership involves duties to the public as well as rights. This model facilitates the appropriate balance between public access and ownership rights because its underlying premise is that ownership rights exist to further a greater societal need.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Date posted: February 19, 2008 ; Last revised: May 23, 2012
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