Copyright History and the Future: What's Culture Got to Do with It?
Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, vol. 47 (2000), pp. 209-264
56 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2000 Last revised: 3 Jan 2020
Date Written: 2000
Entering the new millennium, I here sought to prompt thought about copyright lawmaking in the future. To start, I analyzed three historical phases: pre-copyright, when works were disseminated orally and in manuscripts and artifacts, but hardly as public goods; the emergence of copyright, as the advent of printing increased risks of piracy and European states in time responded with prototypes of current statutes; modern copyright laws that, toward the end of the nineteenth century, crystallized as treaties began to set global standards for them, allowing industrialized media to release more and more works into ever-larger markets. Further, contemplating copyright issues likely to arise in the twenty-first century, as the patchwork of media markets worldwide melds into one networked marketplace, I argued that, in resolving these issues, judges should delimit the scope of rights at the level of remedies and legislators should harmonize and simplify at least rules applicable to users. Finally, I critiqued the utilitarian and natural-rights rationales of copyright in order to clear the way for new solutions.
Keywords: copyright, history, print, internet, harmonization, remedies
JEL Classification: K11, K19, K39, L82, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation