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The Role of Technology and Consumers’ Needs in the Evolution of Copyright Law – From Gutenberg to the Filesharers

Éva Jakab (Ed.): Geistiges Eigentum und Urheberrecht aus der historischen Perspektive, Lectiones Iuridicae 10, Pólay Elemér Alapítvány, Szeged, 2014, p. 71-79.

10 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013 Last revised: 16 May 2014

Péter Mezei

Institute of Comparative Law

Date Written: January 11, 2013

Abstract

The article emphasizes that the obstacle of P2P filesharing is not a unique feature of our times – it is part of the centuries old legal narrative between symbiosis of technology and copyright law. The first chapter summarizes the factors that were necessary to the emergence of copyright protection including the technology (originally the printing press), authors, consumers and legislature. The second chapter will present that the evolution of copyright law is mainly led by users’ demands and the massively accessible supply of new technologies. This is evidened by the example of how musical works became protected subject matters and how society's demands affected the development of this protection.

Keywords: copyright law, copyright history, filesharing, P2P, musical works, consumers' needs

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Mezei, Péter, The Role of Technology and Consumers’ Needs in the Evolution of Copyright Law – From Gutenberg to the Filesharers (January 11, 2013). Éva Jakab (Ed.): Geistiges Eigentum und Urheberrecht aus der historischen Perspektive, Lectiones Iuridicae 10, Pólay Elemér Alapítvány, Szeged, 2014, p. 71-79.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199352 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2199352

Péter Mezei (Contact Author)

Institute of Comparative Law ( email )

Bocskai u. 10-12.
Szeged, H-6721
Hungary
+36-62-546-735 (Phone)

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