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Digital Copyright and the New Creative Dynamics

Posted: 29 Feb 2008  

Paul Ganley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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The Internet has ruffled the feathers of copyright law. In response, policy makers and rightsholders have sought to expand the legislative boundaries of copyright and embed technical and contractual constraints into works themselves. These measures - collectively termed Digital Rights Management - are not only viewed as necessary to stem the tide of `piracy`, but as desirable to achieve the efficient allocation of copyright works in the market place. Economic theory is used to support these advances as the natural progression for copyright law in the 21st century. This essay takes issue with this economic rationale, and suggests that private market based mechanisms are likely to systematically exclude certain values that copyright law has traditionally undertaken to protect. Furthermore, it is suggested that whilst rightholders are naturally wary of digital technology, it provides precious opportunities for those at the ends of the copyright chain: creators and users. Finally, the status of copyright exceptions under the European Copyright Directive, in particular those which implicate informational, private, and transformative uses, are assessed in light of the earlier arguments.

JEL Classification: E24; J24; N34

Suggested Citation

Ganley, Paul, Digital Copyright and the New Creative Dynamics. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp. 282-332, 2004. Available at SSRN:

Paul Ganley (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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