The state of copyright activism

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Abstract



One of the great hopes I had while I researched and wrote Copyrights and copywrongs (New York: New York University Press, 2001), a cultural history of American copyright, during the late 1990s was that copyright debates might puncture the bubble of public consciousness and become important global policy questions. My wish has come true. Since 1998 questions about whether the United States has constructed an equitable or effective copyright system frequently appear on the pages of daily newspapers. Activist movements for both stronger and looser copyright systems have grown in volume and furor. And the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in early 2003 that the foundations of American copyright, as expressed in the Constitution, are barely relevant in an age in which both media companies and clever consumers enjoy unprecedented power over the use of works.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v9i4.1133



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