1st Edition

Complex Copyright
Mapping the Information Ecosystem

ISBN 9781138269323
Published November 29, 2016 by Routledge
156 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

This book draws on a wide selection of interdisciplinary literature discussing complex adaptive systems - including scholarship from economics, political science, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and religion - to apply general complexity tenets to the institutions, conceptual framework, and theoretical justifications of the copyright system, both in the United States and internationally. The author argues that copyrighted works are the products of complex creative systems and, consequently, designers of copyright regimes for the global 'information ecosystem' should look to complexity theory for guidance. Urging legal scholars to undertake empirical studies of real-world copyright systems, Tussey reveals how the selection of workable configurations for the copyright regime is larger than that encompassed by the traditional, entirely theoretical, debate between private property rights and the commons. Finally, this unique study articulates how copyright law must tolerate certain chaotic elements that may be essential to the sustainability of complex systems.



Deborah Tussey is a Professor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where her areas of specialty include international intellectual property law, copyright law, and computer law.


'Using easy-to-understand examples which range from Harry Potter to prairie fires, Debbie Tussey explains why copyright experts need to learn more about complex adaptive systems. This engaging, well-written and provocative book provides a timely reminder of the need for intellectual property law to be flexible enough to tolerate the chaos inherent in the creative process. Anybody who cares about the future of copyright should read this book!' Peter K. Yu, Drake University Law School, USA and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, China 'Professor Tussey's work provides an innovative way to look at copyright law, giving scholars and legislators alike a framework to consider legal questions in a highly volatile technological environment. Her use of empirical data and creative analogies helps the reader understand the copyright landscape we will have to regulate in the very near future.' Julie Cromer Young, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, USA 'There is much to commend in Tussey’s scholarly insights and the fluency with which she navigates copyright laws and its governance challenges through the frame of complex adaptive systems theory... Tussey’s imaginative outlining of the causal linkage between creativity and works will resonate with many who question ACTA, the Google Search debacle and the expansion of copyright’s reach in space and time during the past decade.' International Journal of Law and Information Technology 'Professor Tussey makes her case for copyright as a complex adaptive system carefully and meticulously... [she] has written a thought-provoking book and is in good company with many recent books that address intellectual property reform. I recommend reading and thinking about her arguments, and I look forward to see how she builds on her important and provocative ideas.' The IP Law Book Review