Refining Notions of Idea and Expression Through Linguistic Analysis

COPYRIGHT AND PIRACY: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CRITIQUE, Bently, Davis and Ginsburg, eds., 2010

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 46/2010

1 Pages Posted: 10 May 2010 Last revised: 8 Aug 2013

Date Written: November 18, 2009

Abstract

This chapter comments on a paper by the linguist Alan Durant, who demonstrates that our understanding of the distinction between idea and expression in the context of literary works is far from perfect and could be enriched by drawing on a number of insights from other fields, and in particular from linguistic theory. In this brief response, I consider whether and how a fuller understanding of those features might be accommodated in the adjudication of legal disputes about copyright infringement.

Keywords: copyright, idea/expression, linguistics, substantial similarity, experts, probative similarity

JEL Classification: K11, K41, K13

Suggested Citation

Dinwoodie, Graeme B., Refining Notions of Idea and Expression Through Linguistic Analysis (November 18, 2009). COPYRIGHT AND PIRACY: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CRITIQUE, Bently, Davis and Ginsburg, eds., 2010; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 46/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601234

Graeme B. Dinwoodie (Contact Author)

Chicago-Kent College of Law ( email )

565 West Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661
United States

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