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A Canadian Copyright Narrative

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Abstract:

Copyright policy, like other major areas of public policy, requires a solid anchoring in fundamental principles. The perceived need to anchor copyright debates in a solid policy context and, hence, to develop a coherent (and hopefully convincing) narrative has been the subject of excellent contemporary research. We are indebted to a number of scholars for their work in this area. The attempt to find normative applications from a historically derived model for copyright is not either. However, the research thus far tends to provide a blurred picture, by espousing justiflcatory theories based on one or many of the following: commercial and personal Interests of authors, understood as property and/or liability rules; commercial interests of publishers and other “rights holders”; and/or the social costs of overprotection and the related economic-driven search for an optimal point of protection. This article looks at pieces in the Canadian narrative puzzle and tries to present a faithful picture of its current stage of evolution. To do so, however, a detour via England is required, because that is whence the soil from Which the Canadian narrative comes. This historical detour will be the focus of Part 1. Part III will suggest a path for the next stages of the Canadian narrative that is both consistent with international norms and hopefully useful in moving the debate forward. The part ends with a brief look at the impact that the linkage with trade rules may have on copyright.

Keywords: North America; copyright

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-1796.2008.00351.x

Affiliations: Vanderbilt University Law School

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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