Anne Barron

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"Ms Barron's research centres on copyright and related rights, and, more generally, the legal regulation of culture and the arts and legal and social theory. She is currently working on a book on the institution of copyright – provisionally entitled Understanding Copyright: Explanatory Frameworks and Justificatory Theories – which brings this research together with a view to providing a comprehensive map of the contemporary field of theoretical inquiry in relation to copyright law.": (


Introduced by J. Martin Pedersen:

She works on some sort of "radical" liberal front - making sense of the institution of copyright from a cultural (and, obviously, public sphere) perspective:

"........too much has been made of the distinction, and that the debate over which paradigm [what Glynn Lunney has called 'copyright's incentives-access paradigm' on the one hand, and proponents of what Mark Lemley has called the 'full value' or 'absolute protection' paradigm on the other] should have priority in determining the contours of copyright policy distracts attention from a more fundamental issue - the hegemony of economic analysis generally in organising the conceptual and normative universe of legal scholars working in this area. Thus while sympathetic to the impulse underlying the efforts of Lemley and Frischmann - a concern to resist the seemingly relentless expansion of copyright towards the horizon of absolute right-holder control of all uses of copyright material - I argue that their lingering adherence to the presuppositions of economic analysis has stymied their well-meaning efforts to account for the social value of 'information' in terms distinct from the merely economic measure of price. My overall aim here is to suggest that, because of its presuppositions, economic analysis - in whatever paradigm it may be packaged - offers at best a blinkered perspective on both copyright law and the field of social life that copyright law affects. I conclude by proposing Jurgen Habermas's social theory as an alternative framework in relation to which critics of copyright expansionism might fruitfully orient themselves in the future."

More Information


From: “Copyright Infringement, ‘Free-Riding’ and the Lifeworld” in Lionel Bently, Jennifer Davis and Jane Ginsburg (eds.) Inspiration, Innovation, or Infringement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Piracy and Copyright (Cambridge: CUP 2010) [FORTHCOMING] - full paper here: