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Copyright's Empire: Why the Law Matters

41 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2008  

Alina Ng

Mississippi College School of Law


Two separate and distinct movements have colonized research in the field of intellectual property. Law and economics has deepened our understanding of the justification for granting monopoly rights over intellectual property. In recent years, economic theories have been used to support the growth of the commons - the free environment, where intellectual property plays little role in generating new creative works and innovation. The second movement is law and technology that has sought to increase understanding of intellectual property through the exploration of how technologies either provide freedoms or impose limitations to how creative works and innovation are created and received by society. Both show us the need to balance private rights against public interests. Consumers and the public in general derive value from the creation of literary and artistic works - we must recognize that authorship is the primary activity that contributes to this benefit. Private rights may be the most feasible manner to encourage authorship. Through the guarantee that investments in producing works will be recovered, authors are more inclined to engage in creative production. Society will stagnate the moment the production of literary and artistic works ceases. The law must ensure that society continues to have materials to develop. This can only be done thought a system that is connected to society through free market supply and demand mechanics.

Keywords: copyright law, authorship, law and economics, technology

JEL Classification: K11, K29

Suggested Citation

Ng, Alina, Copyright's Empire: Why the Law Matters. Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2007; Mississippi College School of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN:

Alina Ng (Contact Author)

Mississippi College School of Law ( email )

151, East Griffith Street,
Jackson, MS 39201
United States
(601) 925 7176 (Phone)
(601) 925 7113 (Fax)


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