Copyright at Home: Copyright and the Phantom Public

Sara Bannerman
Communications, Carleton University
August, 2004
 

Abstract

Rather than existing only for the benefit of creators, Anglo-American copyright takes the interests of “the public” into account. Through an examination of historical writings on “the public”, an analysis of submissions to a Canadian public consultation on copyright reform, and a study of international copyright agreements, I argue that copyright’s references to “the public” have taken on multiple meanings throughout history, in recent years, and in international trade and copyright regimes. As the roles, makeup, and expectations of “copyright’s public” change, new relationships between copyright and the publics it serves are indicated and required. Interest groups have an important role to play in representing the “public” of individuals at home as consumers, users, and creators. However, the specific language used in copyright regimes to recognize “the public” ­ terms such as “the public interest”, “balance”, and “rights” ­ affects the abilities of new interest groups to claim status within governing copyright discourse.
  •  Announcements
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo
  •  Current Issue
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo
  •  Thesis Abstracts
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo

We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

SSHRC LOGO