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'All The World's Knowledge': Universal Authors' Rights

British Academy Law Lecture, delivered by Professor Jane C Ginsburg FBA, on 11 December 2012 (venue: The British Academy).

Access to ‘all the world’s knowledge’ is an ancient aspiration; a less venerable, but equally vigorous, universalism strives for the borderless protection of authors’ rights. Late 19th-century law and politics brought us copyright universalism; 21st-century technology may bring us the universal digital library. Does the universal digital library of the near future threaten copyright holders? If so, which is the endangered species: creators of works of authorship, or the publishers who have long conceived copyright in their own image? Finally, does access-triumphalism risk giving us not the universal digital library but the universal digital bookstore?

About the speaker
Jane C Ginsburg (University of Chicago, BA 1976, MA 1977; Harvard, JD 1980; Université de Paris II, DEA 1985, Dottorat en droit 1995) is the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia University School of Law, and Faculty Director of its Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. She teaches legal reasoning, copyright law, and trademarks law; her publications focus primarily on domestic and international copyright law.

(Portrait of Victor Hugo by Leon Bonnat)

More about the British Academy Law Lectures

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