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Copyright Law and the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts

Alina Ng, Associate Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law, US
The American Constitution empowers Congress to enact copyright laws to ‘promote the progress of science and the useful arts’. This book offers the first in-depth analysis of the connection between copyright law as a legal institution and the constitutional goal of promoting social and cultural advancement.
Extent: 176 pp
Hardback Price: $116.00 Web: $104.40
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 781 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Innovation and Technology
  • Technology and ICT
  • Law - Academic
  • Intellectual Property Law
The American Constitution empowers Congress to enact copyright laws to ‘promote the progress of science and the useful arts’. This book offers the first in-depth analysis of the connection between copyright law as a legal institution and the constitutional goal of promoting social and cultural advancement.

Focusing on the relationship between this explicit purpose and the normative uses and production of creative works, Alina Ng argues that a robust copyright system that embodies moral and ethical principles is necessary to protect the different values and expectations of authors, publishers and users of creative works. The author demonstrates that a more nuanced understanding of property rights and statutory privileges, as bearing different types of entitlements, is critical to the sustainable development of society and culture at both national and international levels. She posits that as communication technologies become ubiquitous and facilitate greater connectivity between authors and their readers, the notion of authorship as a creative endeavor producing works with significant influence upon society and culture must form the central tenet of the copyright system.

This unique approach to copyright law will be of interest to legal, cultural and literary scholars as well as others interested in the relationship between creativity, authorship and progress.
‘. . . the book is enjoyable and thought-provoking, not least because it supports an understanding of copyright which is subject to heavy criticism at the moment, also among the general public. . . the book deserves to be carefully read by all those interested in copyright law and policy.’
– Eleonora Rosati, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice

‘Legal texts abound on IP law. However, this book recently published by Elgar, is the first we’ve seen that explores in detail the moral, ethical and social dimensions underpinning the concept of copyright. . . this book provides much food for thought and is definitely absorbing reading for anyone, from authors, to publishers to IP lawyers and IT folk on both sides of the Atlantic.’
– Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, The Barrister Magazine
Contents: Foreword by Paul Goldstein Introduction: How Did We Get Here? Part I: Our Present 1. Knowledge in a Global Society 2. Cultural and Social Development Part II: Our Past 3. The Social Contract 4. A Second Opportunity 5. Landscaping the Legal Terrain Part III: Our Future 6. Building Bridges for Progress 7. The International Stage Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here? Index