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Even generic theft statutes are found to be irrelevant in the case of unauthorized copying. Again, theft involves physically taking an object, the remedy to which may be recovering that object. Copyright, on the other hand, does not protect the property itself, but rather the interest of the authors, especially the market or profit interests. If a book is stolen from a publisher's warehouse, for example, property laws governing theft or stolen property may apply, but pirated copies are not theft protected by generic theft statute. Instead, the violation is termed "infringement" of the publisher's interest protected by copyright. This difference is illustrated by the fact that although stolen property is recovered, pirated copies are destroyed. It is important to recognize that, economically speaking, intellectual properties are not properties—as tangible commodities—despite the misleading term, and intellectual property laws do not protect the said property, but the interests of the owners derived from the use of that property—although this interest may very well be termed as "property" in the legal sense.

When does the proprietary right to an intellectual activity and its pecuniary rewards become an issue? Stealing property, such as a theft, is an economic concern because the owner is deprived of its use by which someone else benefits. Suppose that Alice has a plow, and Bob steals that plow to plow his land. During Bob's plowing, Alice is deprived of the use of that plow, and perhaps loses her crop by missing the planting season. Bob's gain is Alice's loss. Suppose, however, that Alice invented a plow attachment that makes plowing much easier. Bob, after seeing how the attachment was made and attached, makes his own device and gains the same benefit from reduced labor. Alice in this case is not deprived of using her own idea on her own land.

Further suppose that Bob opens a business selling plow attachments. Does Bob owe some monetary remuneration to Alice? Today, the answer is a resounding yes—assuming that this plow has the same impact as it did then—but the idea of "selling ideas" did not exist until the Modern era. Protection of private property rights over intellectual activities is not an issue if there is no opportunity, now or ever, of making a profit or if there is a reasonable method of controlling reproduction and selling. During the Middle Ages, Bob or no

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one else would have thought of selling plow attachments as a business, and innovations of many types were copied and stolen by others without regard to intellectual property rights. (Keeping them secret was one way of controlling ideas, to deprive others of their benefits.) Some ideas, even when not kept secret, could not be copied. Even after printing presses revolutionized the book trade and brought copyright issues to the forefront, for example, the same issue was mostly irrelevant to painters and paintings, which could not be reproduced easily.

The first known copyright theft occurred when Hermodorus copied Plato's speeches and sold them overseas (Gurnsey, 1995). Was this a crime? If there was a law prohibiting speech transcription and selling, Hermodorus might have been a criminal. But the fact that there was no such law indicates that Plato and his compatriots did not recognize a potential for profit in selling the speeches. What limited the market for speeches was the lack of suitable technology for producing copies. Even during the Middle Ages, "unauthorized" hand-copying was an important part of monastic life. The primary utility of these literary works was to communicate ideas to readers. Disseminating ideas through hard-working monks was more important than any profit consideration of the authors.

When Gutenberg's printing press changed the publishing industry in the 15th century, a larger market began to appear for printed works. With mass printing, the profit potential from mass marketing was recognized and, almost immediately, some works were "popular" enough to be pirated. The idea of proprietary ownership was quickly extended to copies as well as to the original manuscript...hence the term "copyright." At this time, however, the property right was applied to bound copies of books, and publishers rather than authors controlled legal rights over publication and distribution.

This is logical if one considers that books and copies were perceived to be properties of trade, and that the first copyright laws aimed to regulate no more than the trade aspects of book publishing. The Royal Charter, for example, given to London-based Stationers' Company in 1557, granted a monopoly right to publishers. The Royal Charter was a precursor to modern copyright

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laws and established the "property" aspect of printed works. Once registered and printed, a book became the property of the publisher. In this way, what the Charter protected was the market, or the profit-making trade. The fact that books were based on intellectual activities was not yet a consideration. Despite the growing recognition of authorship rights and the importance of knowledge and ideas, modern copyright laws still maintain this aspect of trade regulation.

The monopoly, however, broke down as the demand for books and regional piracy increased substantially and the market regulation based on the Charter became ineffective and was abandoned. By 1710, publishing and book trading was an important profit-making activity, and interested parties demanded statutory protection of their rights to secure markets for their properties. England's Statute of Anne in 1710 laid down the first terms of copyright, limited its application to 14 years, and set out infringement penalties. Although the statute also professed to protect impoverished authors during the Age of Enlightenment by signaling the assertion of their rights, the statute met with vigorous piracy originating in Scotland and Ireland—and later in Australia and the U.S. after copyright law was expanded to Scotland and Ireland. This prompted a series of copyright laws that modified and strengthened the terms of copyright protection. The benchmarks of copyright history outlined in figure 5.1 show that a growing market and potential for rewards has always been the driving force behind the struggle for copyright protection. It is also important to remember that illegal copies became an issue only when reproduction technology became sufficiently advanced. The invention of printing presses, photocopiers, and now digital copying technologies have periodically brought the issue to the forefront. But the market environment has not changed significantly, and the digital marketplace does not present any new issues that demand a complete revision in intellectual property laws as some have argued.

Since the Statute of Anne, three major developments have occurred in modern copyright laws. First, the intrinsic rights of authors have become increasingly recognized. Although the Royal Charter and the Statute of Anne established authors' rights, they were geared more toward protecting publishing houses from pirates.

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