Copyright History and the Future: What's Culture Got to Do with it?
Paul Edward Geller
Independent - Attorney
Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, Vol. 47, pp. 209-64, 2000
In the light of history, this article seeks to prompt thought about future copyright lawmaking. Its first part analyzes three historical phases: pre-copyright, when works were disseminated orally and in manuscripts and artifacts, but hardly as public goods; the emergence of copyright, when the advent of printing increased risks of piracy, and European states in time responded with copyright laws; modern copyright law, starting in the nineteenth century, when treaties started to globalize such law, allowing industrialized media to release more and more works into ever-larger markets. The second part of the article considers copyright issues likely to arise in the near future, as the patchwork of media markets worldwide melds into one networked marketplace: it is argued that, in resolving these issues, lawmakers should increasingly harmonize and simplify copyright rules, and judges tailor the scope of rights at the level of remedies. The third part of the article then critiques established utilitarian and natural-rights rationales of copyright to clear the way for new solutions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
Keywords: copyright, history, print, internet, harmonization, remedies
JEL Classification: K11, K19, K39, L82, Z1
Date posted: September 25, 2000 ; Last revised: April 26, 2016
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