Global Copyright
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Global Copyright

Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace

Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans

This innovative book celebrates the tri-centenary of modern copyright, which began with the enactment of the Statute of Anne by the British Parliament in 1709, and was soon followed by other copyright legislation abroad. The Statute of Anne is traditionally claimed to be the world’s first copyright statute, and is thus viewed as the origin of a system of national laws that today exists in virtually all countries of the world. However, this book illustrates that while there is some truth in this claim, it is also important to treat it with caution.
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Chapter 21: Online Exploitation and Licensing: General Reporter’s Summary and Proposals for Discussion

J.A.L. Sterling


J.A.L. Sterling* 1 INTRODUCTION In today’s fascinating survey of the problems involved in the context of the internet and digital libraries, education and related questions of administration and licensing, and the use of orphan material,1 we have been made aware of gaps in national, regional and international copyright law. One of the reasons for the problems is that we are using the copyright law of the Gutenberg era of hard copies and territorial rights to deal with the challenges of borderless communication in the electronic environment. We have heard of a number of solutions or proposed solutions in the European Community, US and Canada. These are specifically related to the areas concerned. In the world of global communication, however, I suggest that we need to seek global solutions which are not subject to territorial restrictions. 2 THE BLACK HOLE IN THE COPYRIGHT CONSTELLATION There is in this area what may be called the black hole in the copyright constellation. Rights of reproduction and communication to the public as well as distribution of copies are in general assigned and exploited on a territorial basis, according to traditional practices of the publishing industry, * Professorial Fellow, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Institute, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London. j.a.l.sterling@qmul. A French and Spanish translation of this chapter can be found on the website of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (BLACA): 1 These became the papers in Part II of this book. 291 292 Global...

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