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Copyright and the pursuit of justice: a Rawlsian analysis

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This paper seeks to explore copyright from the perspective of John Rawls's egalitarian conception of justice. It first evaluates the classical theories for copyright. Next, it examines Rawls's principles of justice with particular emphasis on the difference principle. Then, it applies Rawls to the design of copyright law and debates on two doctrines of copyright law – namely the idea/expression dichotomy and the relevance of the merit of a work for copyright. The significance of the debate is to show that Rawls's perspective on justice offers a better justification for copyright and its principles and would potentially induce better justice.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Newcastle Law School, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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