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The Place of Creativity in Copyright Law

By Sampsung Xiaoxiang Shi


The negative effects of copyright (and other intellectual property) on the generation and flow of information and knowledge have raised universal concern. In particular, the danger of threatening and stifling creativity caused by the law of copyright has been pointed out and investigated extensively by scholars. The initial intention of copyright law was to encourage learning and continued production of books; however, it 'has developed as a way to reward the haves' and has in fact departed from its original purpose.\ud \ud The aberration of copyright's effects may be attributed to many factors among which the changing social context is a prominent one. The purpose of copyright law is to optimize creativity of people including both authors and users of creative materials. To accomplish this aim, copyright law must maintain a balance between stimulating creativity of authors (and potential authors) through rewarding creation with monopoly rights and enhancing creativity of individual users through encouraging access to information and knowledge. The ways in which such a balance could be sustained may vary in different social contexts. After examining the incentive structure and effect of copyright and arising new possibilities to enhance public literacy and individual creativity, this chapter articulates the purpose of copyright law for this networked information society and furthermore investigates how this aim could be accomplished

Topics: 180115 Intellectual Property Law, Creativity, participatory culture, copyright law, copyright incentive, copyrightability
Year: 2008
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