Copyright's Mercantilist Turn Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the last twenty years, arguments for broader copyright have taken an increasingly mercantilist turn. Unable to establish that broader copyright will lead to more or better original works, as the Constitution and the traditional economic framework require, proponents have begun arguing for broader copyright on the basis of revenue and jobs. Rampant unauthorized copying is theft or piracy, proponents insist, depriving copyright owners of revenue and destroying jobs. Whether or not it leads to more or better works, broader copyright will increase revenue to copyright owners and thus increase employment in the copyright industries. This increased employment, on its own, justifies broader copyright, or so proponents contend. In this Article, I critically reexamine this argument and show that it is empty.

published proceedings

  • Florida State University Law Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Lunney, G

complete list of authors

  • Lunney, Glynn

publication date

  • October 2014