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So Call Me a Copyright Radical

Copyright Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 123-133, 2011

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/44

12 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2012 Last revised: 11 Dec 2013

Kimberlee G. Weatherall

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: July 5, 2012

Abstract

The panel in which this paper was given was presented as a 'debate between those who think copyright needs radical reform and those who believe its traditional foundations are sound.' To some extent, this framing is based on a false premise. It seems to suggest that copyright is somehow 'timeless, natural and inevitable', and based on consistent principle. This is a myth; copyright historically has been characterised by uncertainty and constant change.

In any event, while in the debate I was billed as the 'radical change' proponent, the kinds of change discussed over the last few years by 'radicals' are increasingly becoming mainstream: proposals such as reintroducing registration, having 'opt in' rights to remuneration, and increasing the flexibility of exceptions are no longer the demands of the so-called 'radicals' alone. When they're discussed in WIPO, they're mainstream.

In the end, who is the real radical? The person who denies copyright's history of dynamic change, or the participant who considers how to improve copyright in the face of a very different creation and communication environment?

Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, fair use

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Weatherall, Kimberlee G., So Call Me a Copyright Radical (July 5, 2012). Copyright Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 123-133, 2011; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/44. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2100644

Kimberlee Gai Weatherall (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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