Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2233063
 


 



Gandhi and Copyright Pragmatism


Shyamkrishna Balganesh


University of Pennsylvania Law School

February 13, 2013

California Law Review, Vol. 101, 2013, Forthcoming
U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-6

Abstract:     
Mahatma Gandhi is revered the world over for his views on freedom and non-violence, ideas that he deployed with great success during India’s freedom struggle. As a thinker, he is commonly believed to have been a moral perfectionist: anti-utilitarian in mindset and deeply skeptical of market mechanisms. Yet, when he engaged with the institution of copyright law during his lifetime — as a writer, editor, and publisher — his approach routinely abjured the idealism of his abstract thinking in favor of a lawyerly pragmatism. Characterized by a nuanced, internal understanding of the institution and its conflicting normative goals, Gandhi’s thinking on copyright law reveals a reasoned, contextual, and incremental transformation over time, as the economic and political circumstances surrounding his engagement with copyright changed. In it we see a dimension of Gandhi’s thinking that has thus far been ignored, emanating from his training as a common lawyer. This Essay traces the development of Gandhi’s views on copyright to show how he anticipated several of the central debates and controversies that are today the staple of the copyright wars, and developed an approach to dealing with copyright’s various problems, best described as “copyright pragmatism.” As an approach that draws on legal and philosophical pragmatism, copyright pragmatism entails a critical engagement with copyright as a legal institution on its own terms, but contextually and with an eye towards its various costs, benefits, and normative goals at each stage of engagement. The Essay then unpacks the analytical moves that copyright pragmatism entails to show how it holds important lessons for the future of copyright thinking and reform.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: Gandhi, copright law, legal pragmatism

JEL Classification: K10

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: March 14, 2013 ; Last revised: March 27, 2013

Suggested Citation

Balganesh, Shyamkrishna, Gandhi and Copyright Pragmatism (February 13, 2013). California Law Review, Vol. 101, 2013, Forthcoming ; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-6. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2233063

Contact Information

Shyamkrishna Balganesh (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3400 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-573-7780 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://sbalganesh.law.upenn.edu
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,346
Downloads: 109
Download Rank: 146,382
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. Copyright Infringement Markets
By Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.484 seconds