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What is Feminist About Open Access?: A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy

Feminists@law, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011

35 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2011  

Carys J. Craig

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto

Joseph F. Turcotte

York University

Rosemary J. Coombe

York University

Date Written: April 18, 2011

Abstract

In a context of great technological and social change, existing intellectual property regimes such as copyright must contend with parallel forms of ownership and distribution. Proponents of open access question and undermine the paradigm of exclusivity central to traditional copyright law, thereby fundamentally challenging its ownership structures and the publishing practices these support. In this essay, we attempt to show what it is about the open access endeavour that resonates with a feminist theory of law and society - in other words, we consider what is “feminist” about open access. First, we provide an overview of a relational feminist critique of traditional copyright law and the assumptions of possessive individualism that pervade it. We then offer a brief description of the open access movement and the way in which it reflects or responds to this criticism. In doing so, we discover vital synergies between this branch of feminist legal theory and the open access movement. Ultimately, we hope to underscore the importance of an open access policy for legal journals such as this one, whose mission is to support, advance and disseminate a feminist perspective that challenges the prevailing hegemony within traditional legal scholarship. We conclude by offering ways in which this journal can help draw out the synergies between feminist criticism and the open access movement.

Keywords: Copyright, Open Access, Feminism

JEL Classification: K39, I2, O33, O34, Z10

Suggested Citation

Craig, Carys J. and Turcotte, Joseph F. and Coombe, Rosemary J., What is Feminist About Open Access?: A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy (April 18, 2011). Feminists@law, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1888377

Carys Craig (Contact Author)

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416 736 5189 (Phone)
416 736 5736 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca

Joseph Turcotte

York University ( email )

3013 TEL Centre
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://jfturcotte.wordpress.com

Rosemary Coombe

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.yorku.ca/rcoombe/publications.htm

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