Neil Weinstock Netanel, UCLA School of Law, has published Introduction to: From Maimonides to Microsoft: The Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print, in From Maimonides to Microsoft: The Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print (Oxford University Press, 2016). Here is the abstract.
In this book, Neil Netanel traces the historical development of Jewish copyright law. In so doing, he compares rabbinic reprinting bans with secular and papal book privileges and relays the stories of dramatic disputes among publishers of books of Jewish learning and liturgy, beginning with the early sixteenth century and continuing until today. He describes each dispute in its historical context and examines the rabbinic rulings that sought to resolve it. Remarkably, the rabbinic reprinting bans and copyright rulings address some of the same issues that animate copyright jurisprudence today: Is copyright a property right or just a right to receive fair compensation? How long should copyrights last? What purposes does copyright serve? While Jewish copyright law has borrowed from its secular counterpart at key junctures, it fashions strikingly different answers to those key questions.Download the Introduction from SSRN at the link.