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In: Business and Management

Submitted By LISTS
Words 22271
Pages 90
Copyright and the Internet
Hector L MacQueen*(* LLB (Hons), PhD, FRSE, Professor of Private Law, University of Edinburgh, email hector.macqueen@ed.ac.uk. This is a substantially revised, updated and rewritten version of the chapter which appeared under the same title in L Edwards and C Waelde (eds), Law and the Internet: Regulating Cyberspace (1997). I am grateful to those who commented upon that earlier version, to those who sent me information about developments on the Internet (especially Dr Athol Murray), and to the editors once again for their help, guidance and patience over a prolonged period.)

Introduction
A major issue for copyright lawyers at the present time is how to deal with the rapid development of the Internet and the prospect of the ‘information superhighway’, world-wide telecommunications systems which permit the rapid, indeed virtually instantaneous transmission around the world, at times chosen as much by individual recipients as by transmitters, of information and entertainment in all media - print, pictures still and moving, sound, and combinations thereof. The issues are manifold. Is the ease of perfect reproduction and manipulation of material in the digital form used by our communications systems the death-knell of the whole basis of copyright? Are we at least going to have to reconsider such fundamentals of copyright law as what constitutes publication, copying and public performance, or the old distinctions between categories of work such as literary, artistic, sound recording and film? What rights should users enjoy? Are the rights accorded them in the analogue world so ill-defined that they will undermine the utility of copyright as a source of income for digital authors and their publishers? Will we see the emergence of a genuine market-place in which producer and user bargain about the price for individual transfers of

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