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Toward Cultural Democracy: Digital First Sale Doctrine and Copyright
Communication Law and Policy (2016)
  • Yoonmo Sang, Howard University
Economic efficiency has been the dominant justification for copyright protection in the United States. Challenging that narrow perspective, this study argues that cultural democracy provides a broader, more encompassing framework for reforming copyright laws in support of users’ access to and use of creative works. The study demonstrates how the normative values promoted by cultural democracy are synonymous with the socially beneficial effects of the first sale doctrine. Additionally, the study contextualizes and further elaborates the notion of cultural democracy by providing more concrete examples of how cultural democracy plays out in practice. In doing so, this study focuses on individuals’ use of ebooks and the role of public libraries in the digital age.

  • copyright,
  • first sale doctrine,
  • ebooks,
  • public libraries
Publication Date
Spring April 19, 2016
Citation Information
Yoonmo Sang. "Toward Cultural Democracy: Digital First Sale Doctrine and Copyright" Communication Law and Policy Vol. 21 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 221 - 249
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