Rethinking Copyright: History, Theory, Language

Ronan Deazley

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

64 Citations (Scopus)


This book provides the reader with a critical insight into the history and theory of copyright within contemporary legal and cultural discourse. It exposes as myth the orthodox history of the development of copyright law in eighteenth-century Britain and explores the way in which that myth became entrenched throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To this historical analysis are added two theoretical approaches to copyright not otherwise found in mainstream contemporary texts. Rethinking Copyright introduces the reader to copyright through the prism of the public domain before considering how best to locate copyright within the parameters of traditional property discourse. Underpinning these various historical and theoretical strands, the book explores the constitutive power of legal writing and the place of rhetoric in framing and determining contemporary copyright policy and discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages224
ISBN (Print)978 1 84542 282 0, 978 1 84720 944 3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

This work was published in paperback in 2008.


  • copyright policy
  • copyright history
  • copyright theory
  • property theory


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