Literary Landlords in Plaguetime
19 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2020 Last revised: 29 Mar 2021
Date Written: September 28, 2020
Copyright scholars disagree about whether we should conceptualize copyright as a form of property. This essay accepts the property metaphor and asks what it entails. It observes that if copyright is property, then copyright owners are landlords. It reflects on why copyright owners love the property metaphor, but hate the landlord metaphor. And it asks how conceptualizing copyright owners as landlords might affect our assessment of their moral claims.
Keywords: copyright, property, landlord, intellectual property
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