A Relational Theory of Authorship

Shi, Sampsung Xiaoxiang & Fitzgerald, Brian F. (2011) A Relational Theory of Authorship. In Perry, Mark & Fitzgerald, Brian F. (Eds.) Knowledge policy for the 21st Century. Irwin Law Inc.

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Over the years we have heard the debate as to whether authorship emanates solely from the individual or from the cultural context in which they inhabit. Writers such as Professors Woodmansee, Jaszi and Cohen have asserted a cultural theory of authorship. On one hand, there is the liberal philosophy of autonomous creativity evidenced in the notion of a "romantic author" (after the period known as romanticism). On the other hand we have more of a communitarian notion – that the author acts in a cultural context and authorship to some extent must be linked back to the social existence within which the author is situated.

This article argues that for too long we have privileged the notion of the romantic author so much so that it is hard to argue for any other approach to copyright than one that focuses primarily on the author and their assignees such as publishers or associated commercialising agents such as recording companies. Furthermore it suggests that this approach fits awkwardly with the burgeoning networked society fuelled by the Internet to the point where it threatens innovation and the potential for productivity. To this end the article argues that we should more explicitly acknowledge the contribution of culture to authorship and more so the role of each and every individual in assisting and nurturing that authorship, as well as the contribution of users to creativity through consumptive, productive and transformative use of copyright works.

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ID Code: 15251
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9781552211724
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Irwin Law Inc.
Deposited On: 20 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 02:48

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