"Modern Technology, Leaky Copyrights and Claims of Harm: Insights from the Curious History of Photocopying"

Diane Leenheer Zimmerman has self-archived "Modern Technology, Leaky Copyrights and Claims of Harm: Insights from the Curious History of Photocopying" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

The core problem this paper attempts to address what should count as "economic harm" in determining whether particular kinds of copying are appropriately treated as copyright infringement. . . . The argument that copying without permission, especially on the internet, is per se harmful has led to a variety of increasingly stringent self-help and legislative measures designed to prevent and to punish the activity, although often without evidence of success. But researchers who study such things continue to find evidence of the damage, at least from noncommercial activity, elusive. The reasons this might be so, and the inferences to be drawn from it are an interesting subject for copyright theorists to consider, but so far, very little serious attention has been paid to examining the phenomenon. This paper is an effort to begin filling in that blank by setting out a case study of a rampant form of copying technology that long pre-dates the internet: photocopying. In many ways, the photocopying story is a microcosm of what happens when a new technology bursts onto the copyright scene, and as such, it is a possible source of learning about how copyright should treat the issue of noncommercial copying generally, whether it happens compliments of Xerox, or compliments of your regional ISP.

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