The Making Available Right
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The Making Available Right

Realizing the Potential of Copyright’s Dissemination Function in the Digital Age

Cheryl Foong

The right of copyright owners to make their content available to the public is crucial in an environment driven by access. The Making Available Right provides in-depth analysis of this exclusive right and offers insights on how we can approach the right in a more transparent and principled manner. This thought-provoking book brings together detailed analysis of the law and a broader consideration of copyright’s fundamental aims, and will be of interest to judges, practitioners and scholars concerned about how copyright deals with access going forward.
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Chapter 2: Copyrights history, theory and context

Cheryl Foong


This chapter lays the foundation for critical analysis by introducing the relevant copyright history, theory and context. It discusses copyright’s Anglo-Saxon history, particularly the development of public performance rights, and contrasts this background with the current communications era facilitated by the Internet. It provides the theoretical framework for analysis, taking copyright’s fundamental functions as the starting point. These functions are: (1) incentivizing authorship and (2) encouraging the dissemination of content. It explains conventional and prevalent theories of copyright, and in the process highlights their lack of regard for copyright’s dissemination function. This chapter identifies existing scholarship that provides a starting point for building our understanding of copyright’s dissemination function, and reflects on how this preliminary discourse can be developed further in the context of the making available right. In introducing copyright’s dissemination function, it emphasizes the importance of this function to the sustainability of copyright in the internet age.

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