Posted: 6 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 2, 2009
With the advent of printing in Europe came the era of mechanical reproduction of art. The high capital cost involved meant that the printer/ financier had a mediatory role between the artist and the audience. A combination of factors – the printer/ financier's interests of protecting profits from piracy, the state's suspicion of the spread of seditious material and the authors' campaign against the overbearing monopoly of printers lead to the first legislations on copyright. What began in the 1709 as a fourteen year protection now extends to a good fifty years beyond the death of the author under the 2002 TRIPS agreement. Copyright laws have garnered greater bite and ferocity. This paper discusses the hiatus between the claims and realities of Copyright laws and looks upon the ideas emanating from the Free Software movement as the road to liberating creativity.
Keywords: copyright, authorship, intellectual property, creative commons
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