technologies will be able to transform the boundaries that have been established by print. But as new technologies permit the acquisition and exchange of knowledge within the privacy of one's home, it has become unclear whether one can sustain the traditional copyright story without compromising constitutional rights of privacy and free expression.
A system in which knowledge was defined in terms of authority and erudition, in which the doctrine of rhetoric governed discursive production, in which patterns of communication followed the lines of social stratification, in which books circulated in a process of limitless citation, variation, and translation, in which Universities were not yet state institutions and the learned constituted a special (often itinerant) class with unique privileges, and in which the concept of literature embraced virtually all of what was written. (This is the discourse network of the 1800's).
See: F. A. Kitler, Discourse networks: 1800/ 1900, trans. M. Metteer (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), XVIII. This quote is from the introduction written by David E. Wellbery.