Intellectual Property in the Information Age: The Politics of Expanding Ownership Rights

By Debora J. Halbert | Go to book overview

4
International Piracy: Finding External Intellectual Property Threats

As long as there has been a concept of property there has been piracy. 1 In fact, it can be argued that the notion of the proprietary author developed on the backs of pirates. Law does not emerge fully formed to address the injustices of the world. Rather, law is created in response to stories that manufacture injustice. The law is used to label unwanted behavior as illegal. It is impossible to separate the construction of intellectual property deviants from the construction of intellectual property rights. Thus, focusing on intellectual property pirates lends insight into how the law of copyright is narratively constructed. Although the primary narrative construction of intellectual property pirates occurred more than a century ago, we are witnessing the expansion of this label to include new forms of piracy today.

As intellectual property becomes one of the United States' most important commodities, both at home and abroad, there is a corresponding increase in entertainment and computer software piracy. Because new technology produces products prone to perfect duplication, and thus open to rampant (and oftentimes free) exchange, the traditional notion of copyright is experiencing an unparalleled threat. Given the threat posed by a new era of technology that enhances the sharing of information, copyright owners are finding it necessary to utilize their narrative abilities to render the activities of the pirate illegal. The internationalism of this particular threat amplifies the potential damage and gives rise to a variety of fascinating narratives.

The United States has been able to impose the U.S. copyright story on the rest of the world through international treaties and agreements. When the United States exports cultural products via intellectual prop-

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Intellectual Property in the Information Age: The Politics of Expanding Ownership Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes xvi
  • 1 - The Historical Construction of Copyright 1
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - Controlling Technology: Political Narratives of Copyright 25
  • Notes 45
  • 3 - Controlling Technology: Legal Narratives of Copyright 49
  • Notes 70
  • 4 - International Piracy: Finding External Intellectual Property Threats 77
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Hackers: the Construction of Deviance in the Information Age 101
  • Notes 114
  • 6 - Authors in the Information Age 121
  • Notes 138
  • 7 - The Future of Intellectual Property Law 141
  • Notes 159
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 181
  • About the Author *
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