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Rethinking Copyright: History, Theory, Language Hardcover – November 30, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1845422820 ISBN-10: 1845422821
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Editorial Reviews


'Rethinking Copyright is a small gem for an audience broader than copyright and intellectual property scholars, and well worth acquiring by a variety of general, corporate, law and academic libraries.' --- Laurence Seidenberg, International Journal of Legal Information

'All histories are about the present, not the past. Histories of copyright are no different: the pitched battles today over the nature of copyright frequently re-create a mythical past to shore up support for a partisan present. Deazley's Rethinking Copyright is a must have book for those who care about getting things right. Rethinking Copyright carefully reviews the critical formative years of statutory copyright (1710-1912), and then masterfully ties this foundational period to the current culture wars. It is a tour de force to be savored and returned to over and over again.' --- William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel, Google Inc., New York, US

'This excellent book raises again the controversial issue of whether we can learn anything - and, if so, what - from revisiting our past.' - --Jeremy Phillips, ipkat.com

About the Author

Ronan Deazley, School of Law, University of Birmingham, UK

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub (November 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845422821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845422820
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,018,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Fitch on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rethinking copyright does not so much rethink copyright as provide evidence of how the thinking of copyright has mutated over the years and has effectively become rethought. Only by implication does it really suggest that consequently the reader or society should therefore rethink whatever understanding they had concerning copyright - whether better to accord with its ancient instigators, or perhaps to reform it anew in a new digital age.

Deazley spends the first half of the book, chapters 1-3, presenting detailed detective work with considerable citation and reference to a well researched historical record in order to show that successive legal treatises have been so selective (I can only conclude as negligence bordering upon dishonesty and commercial bias), they have steadily transformed the well understood natural right of an author to their secrets INTO the author's `natural right' to govern the use of their secrets even after disclosure - and after they have clearly ceased being secrets.

Copyright now governs the individual. That it was once intended to govern a select few fortunate enough to own printing presses is a vestigial curiosity.

The foundation Deazley so painstakingly arrives at is this: copyright is not, and never has been, a natural right to be protected by common law.

In the second half of the book, chapters 4-6, Deazley begins the process of proposing at least better attention to language, if not its reformation.
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Rethinking Copyright: History, Theory, Language
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