My Office Has Moved

I am pleased to announce that I’ve moved into a new office space in a great little storefront on Bloor Street, just west of Dufferin. My new mailing address is: RKIP 1200 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON Canada M6H 1N2

Origins of Copyright – Part 5 – Economic Measures

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) introduced the world to the concept of utilitarianism. Utilitarian economists and philosophers measure the value of acts with reference to the net ‘good’ or ‘happiness’ that said acts create in the world. ‘Good’ or ‘happiness’ is often measured using monetary units as a metric, but while such units of measurement are convenient, their use is not essential to a utilitarian analysis. In measuring the value of a private property right, a utilitarian would compare the aggregate increase in ‘good’ to society resulting from the grant of that right with the aggregate ‘good’ which would result from the denial or revocation of that right. If the increase in good resulting from the grant is larger the good resulting from its denial or revocation, the property right would be justified from a utilitarian perspective…

Origins of Copyright – Part 4 – The Philosophers

There must be some coercive power to compel men equally to the performance of their covenants, by the terror of some punishment greater than the benefit they expect by the breach of their covenant, and to make good that propriety which by mutual contract men acquire in recompense of the universal right they abandon: and such power there is none before the erection of a Commonwealth. And this is also to be gathered out of the ordinary definition of justice in the Schools, for they say that justice is the constant will of giving to every man his own. And therefore where there is no own, that is, no propriety, there is no injustice; and where there is no coercive power erected, that is, where there is no Commonwealth, there is no propriety, all men having right to all things.

Origins of Copyright – Part 3 – Advent of the Public Domain

As copyright protections under Anne began to expire, some printers began manufacturing and selling inexpensive copies of books which no longer enjoyed monopoly protection under the Statute, undercutting the prices being asked by the Company of Stationers member print houses. Company printers and booksellers continued to insist on the existence of a perpetual right to copy despite the limitation period in the Statute of Anne. They argued that while protection might be limited under the Statute, some species of eternal common law copyright must exist, and that the Statute did not function to extinguish that right…