The Copyright Deadlock, the Contemporary Notion of Authorship and the United States Copyright Wars
Dr. Cristian Pralea
This interdisciplinary essay attempts to clarify the long running debates on copyright law in the United States by appealing to the philosophical roots of the notions of copyright and authorship, developed by the Western thinking. Relying on authors not often considered in the copyright debates (Foucault, Barthes, De Certeau), but also on authors that excellently deconstructed the historic notion of copyright (Rose, Patterson, Boyle), I argue that the current copyright impasse is caused by the functioning of two opposing notions of authorship within our discourse. One (belonging to the European modernity) regards the authors as extraordinary individuals with an access to objective truths, while the other considers authors more akin to seekers of wisdom, reaching outward for dialogue rather than postulation. I argue that the United States law favored the latter, but welcomed the former when trying to adapt to European and international standards, thus fueling the contemporary copyright struggles.
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