Some Realism About Copyright Skepticism

55 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2017 Last revised: 31 Oct 2017

See all articles by Guy Pessach

Guy Pessach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law; Yale University Law School - Affiliate Fellow, Information Society Project

Date Written: September 26, 2017


The frame “Beyond IP” is gradually becoming a key term in the political economy of intellectual property. It captures the social costs of legal ordering through intellectual property and offers alternative institutions and regulatory options. “Beyond IP” is not just a frame for mobilization but also a descriptive term that summarizes a growing number of contemporary information and cultural institutions, which rest upon concepts of free content and free access as their building blocks. The purpose of this essay is to question the conventional wisdom of critical copyright scholarship which tends to pair proprietary intellectual property protection with informational capitalism and the commodification of culture. I argue that tensions and dichotomies that we are accustomed to attribute to “IP-centric” regimes are tensions and dichotomies which may appear, or even be stimulated, also by copyright’s negative spaces and certain beyond IP legal regimes. Beyond IP market realms tend to conflict with the values of cultural democracy, informational privacy and creative diversity. This essay offers the first novel critical examination of the political economy of information markets that operate beyond the boundaries of IP. This analysis bears significant normative implications on the desirability of contemporary approaches, which support mobilization towards beyond IP legal regimes.

Suggested Citation

Pessach, Guy, Some Realism About Copyright Skepticism (September 26, 2017). IDEA: The IP Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 2, 2017; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 17-41. Available at SSRN:

Guy Pessach (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905

Yale University Law School - Affiliate Fellow, Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics