Back to the Future: Authors, Publishers and Ideas in a Copy-Friendly Environment

Pievatolo, Maria Chiara (2008) Back to the Future: Authors, Publishers and Ideas in a Copy-Friendly Environment. In: Open Scholarly Communities on the Web, Cost Action AA32 , April 2008, Oxford.

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How could scholars survive in a copy-friendly environment jeopardizing the established system of scholarly publishing in which scientific publishers seemed to be authors' best friends? A backward itinerary across three German Enlightenment thinkers who took part to the debate on (unauthorized) reprinting shows us ways – usual and unusual - in which culture can flourish in a copy-friendly environment. While Fichte endorsed an intellectual property theory, took the function of publishers for granted and neglected the interests of the public, Kant saw authors as speakers and justified publishers' rights only as long as they work as spokespersons helping writers to reach the public. Eventually Lessing's project was designed to foster authors' autonomy by means of a subscription system that could have worked only on the basis of a free information flow and of direct relationships with and within the public itself. Such a condition can be compared with the situation of ancient auctores, with one difference: while the ancient communities of knowledge were educated minorities, because of the limitations of orality and manuscript media system, we have now the opportunity to take Enlightenment seriously.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Natural Language Keywords: Kant Ficthte, copyright, Luther, commons, authors', right Lessing, internet
Subjects: Filosofia > Modern Western philosophy
Scienze Sociali > Political science > Civil & political rights
Depositing User: Maria Chiara Pievatolo
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 23:39
Last Modified: 17 May 2011 23:39

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