Interrogating copyright history

Cooper, E. and Deazley, R. (2016) Interrogating copyright history. European Intellectual Property Review, 38(8), pp. 467-470.

118105.pdf - Accepted Version



An understanding of the past – how we got to where we are today – informs the approach of much recent scholarship about copyright. The EIPR is no exception: in an article published in 2003, one co-author of this article (Ronan Deazley) argued that the interpretation of aspects of eighteenth century copyright history – the ruling of the House of Lords in Donaldson v Becket in 1774 – had implications for twenty-first century policy-making and judicial reasoning. This interest in the past has been traced to a ‘historical turn’ in scholarship in the late 1990s, which marked a move away from the more forward-looking approach of the earlier twentieth century, when lawyers had little time for historical perspectives. The climate of renewed scholarly interest in copyright history in recent decades, amongst other things, has seen the launch in 2008 of the AHRC funded digital archive of Primary Sources on Copyright History (hosted at, now expanded to cover seven jurisdictions (Italy, UK, USA, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands), as well as the founding of the International Society for the History and Theory of IP (or ‘ISHTIP’) which will see its 8th annual workshop in July 2016. That both initiatives are linked to CREATe (and so to both co-authors ), the RCUK-funded centre for research into copyright, the creative economy, and the future of creative production in the digital age, illustrates well a current perception that a study of the past is of value to those researching the present.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Deazley, Professor Ronan and Cooper, Dr Elena
Authors: Cooper, E., and Deazley, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:European Intellectual Property Review
Publisher:Sweet and Maxwell
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Sweet and Maxwell and its Contributors
First Published:First published in European Intellectual Property Review 38(8): 467-470
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record