This article examines for the first time the environment in which copyright was practiced in traditional China. It argues that while copyright was not an unusual practice in Chinese history, the lack of monopolistic control in China's publishing industry promoted the freedom of printing and in turn fostered education and literary creativity. In comparison, the European publishing industry in the sixteenth-eighteenth century was characterized by absolute guild monopoly. This directly, though unintentionally, molded our modern rhetoric of intellectual property, which in today's global context hinders the ultimate goal of copyright: the promotion of learning
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.