illegal copy in Medak 2016


onger sold as printed copies, the public interest could be served at a much
lower cost by leaving commercial closed-access publishers out of the equation.
However, given the entrenched position of these publishers and their control
over the moral economy of reputation in academia, the public disservice that
they do cannot be addressed within the historic ambit of copyright. It
requires politicization.

## _Of Law and Politics_

When we look back on the history of copyright, before there was legality there
was legitimacy. In the context of an almost completely naturalized and
harmonized global regulation of copyright the political question of legitimacy
seems to be no longer on the table. An illegal copy is an object of exchange
that unsettles the existing economies of cultural production. And yet,
copyright nowadays marks a production model that serves the power of
appropriation from the author and market power of the publishers much more
than the labor of cultural producers. Hence the illegal copy is again an
object begging the question as to what do we do at a rare juncture when a
historic opening presents itself to reorganize how a good, such as knowledge
and culture, is produced and distributed in a society. We are at such a
juncture, a juncture where the regime regulating legality and illegality might
be opened to the questioning of its legitimacy or illegitimacy.

1. Jump Up For a more detailed account of this development, as well as for the history of printing privilege in Great Britain, see Mario Biagioli: »From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review,« in: _Emergences:_ _Journal for the Study of Media & Composite Cultures _12, no. 1 [2002], pp. 11–45.
2. Jump Up The t

 

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