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Critical Copyright, and more:

my essays, linked and glossed


        For all my essays in the field, along with my terms for your redisseminating any of them, including those cited below, see my résumé. For other uses, outside these terms, email me. Thanks, Paul.


       Intellectual Property generally


Why can’t we apply the law of intellectual property simply and coherently? This law seems to keep falling apart at the seams, while increasingly failing to respond to the information explosion prompting it. In the first essay linked below, I trace the dynamic of this law historically and outline new lines of research. In the second essay below, I distinguish approaches to holding this law within cogent limits. In the third, a dialogue, I critically dramatize the economic analysis of this law.


·    Paul Edward Geller, Dissolving Intellectual Property, in Intellectual Property: Bridging Aesthetics and Economics, ed. Ysolde Gendreau (Éditions Thémis, 2006), p. 1, also in European Intellectual Property Review [EIPR], vol. 28 (2006), p. 139


·    Paul Edward Geller, Delimiting Intellectual Property: Distinct Approaches to Spillovers, in Spory o własność intelektualną: Księga jubileuszowa dedykowana Profesorom Januszowi Barcie i Ryszardowi Markiewiczowi, ed. Andrzej Matlak and Sybilla Stanisławska-Kloc (Wolters Kluwer Polska, 2013), p. 293


·    Paul Edward Geller, Opening Dialogue on Intellectual Property, in Juriste sans frontières : Mélanges Ejan Mackaay, ed. Stéphane Rousseau (Éditions Thémis, 2015), p. 341


       Copyright and other rights in media productions


HISTORICAL TURNING POINTS: Centuries after the advent of print, creators were granted rights to control the exploitation of their works. Now, digital technologies facilitate recasting and redisseminating works more easily and broadly than ever before. In the first essay linked below, I analyze tensions in the theories historically guiding the rise of creators’ rights and propose reconceptualizing these rights. In the second essay below, I encapsulate the history of practice in the field and explore options for the future.


·    Paul Edward Geller, Toward an Overriding Norm in Copyright: Sign Wealth, Revue Internationale du Droit d'Auteur [RIDA], no. 159 (1994), p. 2


·    Paul Edward Geller, Copyright History and the Future: What's Culture Got to Do With It?, Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, vol. 47 (2000), p. 209


DECIDING HARD CASES: What does copyright protect? The first analysis linked below critiques a key case on point. When is copyright infringed? Check out Hiroshige’s prints and Van Gogh’s studies creatively copying these prints. Should an earlier creator, like Hiroshige, be entitled to have a later one, like Van Gogh, barred from recasting his work? In the second essay below, I argue to the contrary, laying out guidelines for tailoring judicial remedies in such cases. In the third essay below, I refine criteria from different laws and treaties to deal with such cases. Check out, too, the principles I propose on this site for deciding copyright cases.


·    Paul Edward Geller, Copyright in Factual Compilations: US Supreme Court Decides the Feist Case, International Review of Industrial Property & Copyright Law [IIC], vol. 22 (1991), p. 802


·    Paul Edward Geller, Hiroshige vs. Van Gogh: Resolving the Dilemma of Copyright Scope in Remedying Infringement, Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, vol. 46 (1998), p. 39


·    Paul Edward Geller, A German Approach to Fair Use: Test Cases for TRIPs Criteria for Copyright Limitations?, Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, vol. 57 (2010), p. 553


INTERNATIONAL METHODS: Copyright laws arose in Europe and spread worldwide. In the first essay linked below, I analyze how treaties may transplant such laws, while allowing for cultural pluralism. In the second essay below, I reconsider the framework for copyright treaties in view of defusing endemic conflicts of laws in cross-border cases. In the third, I analyze how to resolve such conflicts in cases online, even when rights in privacy or free expression come into play. For my guides to the field, go to International Copyright.


·    Paul Edward Geller, Legal Transplants in International Copyright: Some Questions of Method, UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, vol. 13 (1994), p. 199


·     Paul Edward Geller, Rethinking the Berne-Plus Framework: From Conflicts of Laws to Copyright Reform, European Intellectual Property Review [EIPR], vol. 31 (2009), p. 391


·     Paul Edward Geller, The Celestial Jam Session: Creative Sharing Online Caught in Conflicts of Laws, European Intellectual Property Review [EIPR], vol. 37 (2015), p. 490


       Patent and other rights in technologies and designs


Swamped, the patent system obstructs the feedback of new technologies into research and development worldwide. In the essay linked below, I propose a pair of measures that, in tandem, might help solve resulting problems. One measure would give notice online of innovative technologies; another would settle disputes.


·    Paul Edward Geller, An International Patent Utopia?, European Intellectual Property Review [EIPR], vol. 25 (2003), p. 515


       Cyberlaw: governance within global networks


In the 1880s, treaties were concluded to assure the protection of intellectual property in many countries at once. The resulting system, much expanded but still operative today, governs a patchwork of territorial laws. In the essay linked below, I contemplate further networking global governance in the field.


·    Paul Edward Geller, From Patchwork to Network: Strategies for International Intellectual Property in Flux, Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, vol. 9 (1998), p. 69


Home page for this site

My copyright principles.

Check out the bibliography!