• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This Handbook brings together scholars from around the world in addressing the global significance of, controversies over and alternatives to intellectual property (IP) today. It brings together over fifty of the leading authors in this field across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from law, economics, geography, sociology, politics and anthropology. This volume addresses the full spectrum of IP issues including copyright, patent, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as parallel rights and novel applications. In addition to addressing the role of IP in an increasingly information based and globalized economy and culture, it also challenges the utility and viability of IP today and addresses a range of alternative futures.

Dangerous Undertakings: Sacred Texts and Copyright’s Myth of Aesthetic Neutrality
Dangerous Undertakings: Sacred Texts and Copyright's Myth of Aesthetic Neutrality
John Tehranian
Introduction

At a rhetorical level, courts have maintained a steadfast commitment to aesthetic neutrality in their copyright jurisprudence. Consider Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s enduring admonition from over a century ago. Writing for the majority in Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co. (Bleistein 1903), Holmes famously rejected claims by both the lower courts and defendants that the plaintiff’s works in an infringement case did not qualify for copyright protection. Cautioning judges to expurgate aesthetic judgments from the courtroom, Holmes found no basis to deny the benefits of copyright to an advertisement featuring renderings of circus performers, despite its prosaic commerciality (Bleistein 1903: ...

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