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Copyright: past, present and future

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Copyright has developed over the years from an instrument of taxation and censorship to a complex set of rules, primarily to protect the creator, but now having to grapple with cyberspace. This article examines that development, and looks at some of the arguments for and against the existence of copyright. It is argued that copyright is flexible enough to cope with the electronic world. The article examines the lessons learned from the past, and asks whether the Gowers Report helps or hinders. The author also raises the question 'what is the future of copyright?', given the intense interest not just of the UK government but also of the European Commission, which is determined to provide a 'level playing-field' across the countries of the EU. Lastly, the author examines the five main pressure points relevant to the future of copyright and asks who the publisher of the future will be.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at [email protected] for information on how to continue access to this title.
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