Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni
Chapter 17: Critical copyright law and the politics of “IP”
Since its explosion late in the twentieth century, the field of intellectual property scholarship has been a vibrant site for critical legal theorizing. Indeed, it is arguable that US-based intellectual property scholarship effectively generated a resurgence or ‘second wave’ of critical legal studies. Exploring critical engagement with the very idea of ‘intellectual property’ and its conceptual counterpart, the ‘public domain’, this chapter suggests that a vast swathe of copyright scholarship that has bloomed over the past few decades, as copyright has expanded in its reach and relevance, builds implicitly or explicitly on insights gleaned from legal realism, critical legal studies, and their intellectual progeny – critical feminism and critical race theory. Moreover, it is argued, these critical approaches to copyright law offer the most challenging and promising route by which to understand, dissect and reshape modern intellectual property structures (and so to resist their seemingly irrepressible growth).
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