Disrupting Copyright : How Disruptive Innovations and Social Norms are Challenging IP Law book cover
1st Edition

Disrupting Copyright
How Disruptive Innovations and Social Norms are Challenging IP Law

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367690564
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

New innovations are created every day, but today’s business leaders are focused on finding disruptive innovations which are cheaper and lower performing than upmarket technologies. They create new markets, and challenge the status quo of existing technological thinking creating uncertainty both in the future of the innovation and the outcome of the market upheaval. Disruptive innovation is an influential innovation theory in business, but how does it affect the law?

Several of these technologies have brought new ways for individuals to deal with copyright works while disrupting existing market expectations, while their ability to spawn social norms has presented challenges for legislation. Considering disruptive innovation as a class, this book examines innovations that have impacted copyright in the past, what lessons can be learned from how the law interacted with them, and how the law can successfully deal with them going forward. Creating comprehensive guidance that can be used when faced with disruptive innovations with the aim of more successful legislation, it considers whether copyright law itself has been disrupted through these innovations.

Exploring whether disruptive innovations as a class have unique properties that necessitate action by legislators and whether these properties have the possibility to disrupt the law itself, this book theorises how the law should deal with disruptive innovations in general, going beyond a discussion of the regulation of specific innovations to develop a framework for how law makers should deal with disruptive innovations when faced by one.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: Disruptive Innovation & the Law

Disruptive v Sustaining Innovation: the core of the theory

What is Disruptive Innovation?

Disruptive Innovation in Legal Discussion

Disruptive Innovation: The Noun, the Theory, and the Challenge

Chapter 2: Technology, law, and shifting society

How Technology Changes Society & Societal Priorities

Law, Society & Technology

Why Disruptive Innovation?

Signal to Noise

Chapter 3: Social Norms and Disruptive Innovations

Norms and Signals

Question: Is the disruptive innovation linked to a demographically significant group?

Question: Have conflicting norms arisen?

Question: Is there interest in the technology?

A Confluence of Factors, or how to affect policy


Chapter 4: Legislating for well known norms: Photocopying

Early Development Period Pre-1959

Disruptive Period Development 1959-1970

Mature Technology Period

Xerography's Social Norm influence on the Law

Chapter 5: Legislating during the disruptive period: Radio

Early Development Pre-1922

Disruptive Period 1922-1927

Mature Technology in the 1930s

Differences between the US & UK


Chapter 6: Legislating Early: Personal Computers

Before the Personal Computer

Early Personal Computers 1976-1979

The Disruptive Period 1980-84

Post 1984


Chapter 7: Disruptive Innovation and Regulation

Innovation and Norms: Identifying Social Needs

Disruptive technologies can highlight laws that require reform

Disruptive innovations requires careful, cautious management by law reformers

Regulating disruptive innovations

Chapter 8: The Principles at Work

The Disruptive Internet

Artificial Intelligence: Disruptive Innovation or not?

Applying the Principles


Chapter 9: Final Thoughts


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Dr. Margery R Hilko lectures at the Sutherland School of Law at University College Dublin. With a LLM in Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, her PhD was explored how disruptive innovations and the social norms they created affected copyright law. She continues to research in the areas of data protection, internet law, and intellectual property.