AbstractThe law of copyright has, especially when combined with other legal mechanisms, become a potent and wide-ranging instrument - some say too much so for protecting and establishing markets in a wide range of products. This paper argues for a fundamental reassessment of domestic and international law. The protectionists' rallying cry of "to each cow its calf" has produced an incoherent system many ordinary people find unacceptable. Questions such as what specific activities deserve encouragement, what stimulus should be offered, and who should benefit and in what proportions need to be asked and answered. A recontoured copyright system may then regain the moral centre it needs if it is to attract public respect and compliance.
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