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Copyright, Communication and Culture

Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law Carys J. Craig, LLB (Hons), LLM, SJD, Associate Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada
In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £80.00 Web: £72.00
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84844 839 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • Intellectual Property Law
In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.

Employing both theoretical argument and doctrinal analysis, including the novel use of feminist theory, the author explores how the assumptions of modern copyright result in law that frequently restricts the kinds of expressive activities it ought to encourage. In contrast, Carys Craig proposes a relational theory of copyright based on a dialogic account of authorship, and guided by the public interest in a vibrant, participatory culture. Through a critical examination of the doctrines of originality and fair dealing, as well as the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression, she explores how this relational theory of copyright law could further the public purposes of the copyright system and the social values it embodies.

This unique and insightful study will be of great interest to students and scholars of intellectual property law, communications, cultural studies, feminist theory and the arts and humanities.
‘The book is elegantly written throughout and, despite my reservations, I find that it builds a persuasive argument. . . Throughout her book, Craig works tirelessly to persuade us of the veracity of her argument. . . her careful construction of the argument, showing us through judicious use of case law how small shifts in interpretation and attitude can start to make a significant difference, is noteworthy. My anxiety at the reliance of feminist scholarship was unfounded. While its influence is there, Craig’s thoughtful use of its authority means that it melds well into the broader focus of her thesis. I finished the book feeling energised and hopeful that there is perhaps a way that we can move from the current rather polarised and polemical approach and expansionary tendencies in copyright law to one that is more principled and balanced. I highly commend this book to you and hope that when you have read it, you will feel as refreshed as I did.’
– Charlotte Waelde, Journal of Media Law
Contents: 1. Introduction Part I: Copyright and Cultural Creativity in Context 2. Constructing Authorship: The Underlying Philosophy of the Copyright Model 3. Authorship and Conceptions of the Self: Feminist Theory and the Relational Author Part II: The Origin of Copyright: Locke, Labour and Limiting the Author’s Right 4. Against a Lockean Approach to Copyright 5. The Evolution of Originality: The Author’s Right and the Public Interest Part III: Use, Transformation and ‘Appropriation’: Exploring the Limits of Copyright 6. Fair Dealing and the Purposes of Copyright Protection 7. Dissolving the Conflict between Copyright and Freedom of Expression 8. Final Conclusions Index