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In theory, copyright first and foremost belongs to the creator of any new work. In practice, creators are often forced to give up their copyright completely. Most researchers, for example, who need to publish in high impact journals have hardly any choice but handing over it their copyright to journal publishers. Or, Musicians cannot exclude some of their works from the terms of their copyright collectives to publish them under alternative licenses. By joining a collecting society like the German GEMA you trade certain parts of your copyright for the right to receive royalty payments. GEMA’s terms of service, however, are non-negotiable for individual musicians: like it or leave it. (see “Competition for Copyright Collectives“).

In many sectoral contexts private copyright regimes more or less completely replace the logic of (inter-)national copyright legislation.  Mostly this is due to private standardization and respective network effects: if the individual benefits of adopting a standard depend on the total number of adopters,  “exit” is not an option. People dissatisfied with such a private copyright regime are only left with the possibility of “voice”, thereby revealing the inherently political nature of private copyright regulation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
March 2021
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