Table of Contents

Copyright, Communication and Culture

Copyright, Communication and Culture

Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law

Carys J. Craig

In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.

Chapter 5: The Evolution of Originality: The Author’s Right and the Public Interest

Carys J. Craig

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


5.1 INTRODUCTION I argued in Chapter 4 that the justification for copyright law should be found in the relationship between the society and the work. Building on Chapter 3, then, my argument is that the legal relationship between the author and her work is a means by which to achieve social goals. This does not remove the author and her interests from the copyright equation, but rather integrates the interests of a relational author into our conception of copyright’s social goals. The public interest that justifies copyright embraces the value of authorship to individual authors, not as Lockean labourers, but as socially situated human beings engaged in a constitutive cultural dialogue. In Chapter 5, the argument turns towards the legal relationship between the author and her work, and in particular, that which is required to bring it into being – the creation of original expression. The moral relation (society/work) used to justify copyright is logically independent from the legal relation (author/work) established in its name.1 However, any incongruence between these two relations casts doubt on the justifiability of the legal construct. The originality doctrine at the core of copyright law has, for many years, been defined and developed in a way that is congruent with a system justified in terms of the moral relation between author and work. In the discussion that follows, I will suggest ways in which the doctrine can be reconceptualised and redefined to better reflect the social values that justify copyright and so to better advance its...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information