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Copyright, governmentality and problematisation: An exploration

Dent, C.ORCID: 0000-0002-1801-713X (2009) Copyright, governmentality and problematisation: An exploration. Griffith Law Review, 18 (1). pp. 129-150.

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The Copyright Act covers a large range of subject-matters: it includes civil and criminal actions for infringement and appears to envisage a wide range of potential infringers — from a child downloading music to international criminal cartels engaging in large-scale piracy of movies. The Act’s breadth suggests that an appropriate framework for its analysis is Foucault’s governmentality. Such an approach is not straightforward. The Copyright Act, for example, may be seen as a unifying set of practices; alternatively, it is arguable that copyright is not unified by a single ‘problematisation’. That Parliaments have enacted a number of legislative instruments under the broad category of copyright does not necessarily mean that all the practices associated with the instruments are directed at the same government rationalities. The copyright regime, for example, may be understood to maintain practices of self-expression, to accommodate changing technologies, and to sustain, in part, the economic order of society. In order to gain a more nuanced perspective of the problematisations of copyright, and therefore of the regulation of conduct creative individuals, a thorough genealogical investigation of copyright practices needs to be undertaken — an investigation that may be based on the theoretical understandings presented in this article

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2009 Taylor & Francis
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