Revisiting Copyright Theories

Democratic Culture and the Resale of Digital Goods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study surveys theoretical justifications for copyright and considers the implications of the notion of cultural democracy in regard to copyright law and policy. In doing so, the study focuses on the first sale doctrine and advocates for the doctrine’s expansion to digital goods based on a discussion of the doctrine’s policy implications and a review of the arguments for and against a digital first sale doctrine. The study argues that democratic copyright theories, in general, and the notion of cultural democracy, in particular, can and should guide copyright reforms in conjunction with a digital first sale doctrine. This study contributes to the growing discussions about the democratic theories of copyright by demonstrating their applicability to copyright policy and doctrine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-296
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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