Copyright and the Sound Bite Society
AbstractWe live in a sound bite society. The imperatives of marketing and the ubiquitous availability of media technology lead to the ever-increasing production of commercial messages, coined phrases, invented words, and brief opinions expressed instantly. Copyright law, however, originally developed to protect printed books, and is underpinned in Commonwealth jurisprudence by John Locke’s 17th century proposition of property rights deriving from applied labour. This article examines how Lockean theory applies to copyright in the sound bite society. It is argued that, while Lockean theory may not be the most socially beneficial of the major theoretical approaches to copyright, it provides straightforward principles that can be usefully applied to the commercialised and truncated language of contemporary discourse.
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