Date of this Version

May 1999

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Forder, Jay. (1999) Is copyright outdated? CCH Law and Technology, Issue 14, May 1999, p. 5.

Reproduced with the kind permission of CCH Australia Limited.
For more information see

Copyright ©CCH 1999. All rights reserved.


[Extract] A thought-provoking article by Stewart Alsop appeared in magazine in April - see "Copyright Protection is for Dinosaurs" at

He notes that the idea behind intellectual property is that it protects a monopoly to exploit certain rights so that people will be encouraged to engage in creative intellectual effort. In the case of copyright, this is based on the assumption that it is relatively easy to prevent copying. He points out that in the digital era this is no longer true. And contrary to expectations, he suggests that in many instances the ease of copying digital material has benefited intellectual effort. He cites the example of software companies in the early years who soon found that the more watertight their copy protection scheme the less popular their software was in the long run.



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