All Change for the Digital Economy: Copyright and Business Models in the Early Eighteenth Century

23 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2014  

Isabella Alexander

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

This article argues that, contrary to contemporary assertions that today's debates over copyright are the product of outdated business models being threatened by innovators, this struggle between competing economic interests and different business models has existed since before the Statute of Anne was passed in 1710. Examining features of the eighteenth century book trade, and some of the early litigation that arose under the Statute of Anne, the paper draws out a number of features of continuity between the eighteenth century and modern times, as well as emphasizing points of difference. It looks at the way that early interpretations of the legislation sought to mediate between different interests in the operation of copyright law, as well as the ongoing role played by so-called 'copyright industries' in shaping that law.

Keywords: copyright, history, eighteenth century, business models, legal history

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Isabella, All Change for the Digital Economy: Copyright and Business Models in the Early Eighteenth Century (October 1, 2010). Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2381704

Isabella Alexander (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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