Toward Cultural Democracy: Digital First Sale Doctrine and Copyright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-249
Number of pages29
JournalCommunication Law and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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