So Call Me a Copyright Radical
Kimberlee G. Weatherall
The University of Sydney Law School
July 5, 2012
Copyright Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 123-133, 2011
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/44
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?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, fair use
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Date posted: July 5, 2012 ; Last revised: December 11, 2013