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A Shifting Empire

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A Shifting Empire

100 Years of the Copyright Act 1911

Uma Suthersanen , Ysolde Gendreau

Edited by Uma Suthersanen, Professor in International Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary, University of London, UK and Ysolde Gendreau, Professor of Law, Université de Montréal, Canada

2013 264 pp Hardback 978 1 78100 308 4
ebook isbn 978 1 78100 309 1

Hardback £73.00 on-line price £65.70


Available as an eBook for subscribing libraries on Elgaronline.

For individuals at paper price on Google ebooks and

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‘An excellent resource for historians and legal scholars, as well as an instructive text for policymakers and international copyright associations, A Shifting Empire is enthusiastically recommended especially for college libraries and reference collections with a focus on copyright law.’
– The Midwest Book Review

Contributors: T.G. Agitha, M. Birnhack, D. Daley, Y. Gendreau, N.S. Gopalakrishnan, N.-L.W. Loon, G. McLay, T. Pistorius, S. Ricketson, U. Suthersanen

Further information

The 1911 Copyright Act, often termed the ‘Imperial Copyright Act’, changed the jurisprudential landscape in respect of copyright law, not only in the United Kingdom but also within the then Empire. This book offers a bird’s eye perspective of why and how the first global copyright law launched a new order, often termed the ‘common law copyright system’.

This carefully researched and reflective work draws upon some of the best scholarship from Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and United Kingdom. The authors – academics and practitioners alike – situate the Imperial Copyright Act 1911 within their national laws, both historically and legally. In doing so, the book queries the extent to which the ethos and legacy of the 1911 Copyright Act remains within indigenous laws.

A Shifting Empire offers a unique global, historical view of copyright development and will be a valuable resource for policy-makers, academic scholars and members of international copyright associations.

Full table of contents


Introduction: Albion’s Legacy?
Uma Suthersanen and Ysolde Gendreau

1. The First Global Copyright Act
Uma Suthersanen

2. New Zealand and the Imperial Copyright Tradition
Geoff McLay

3. The Imperial Copyright Act 1911 in Australia
Sam Ricketson

4. Mandatory Copyright: From Pre-Palestine to Israel, 1910–2007
Michael D. Birnhack

5. The Imperial Copyright Act 1911 and the Indian Copyright Law
T.G. Agitha and N.S. Gopalakrishnan

6. The Imperial Copyright Act 1911 in Singapore: Copyright Creatures Great and Small, This Act it Made Them All
Ng-Loy Wee Loon

7. Shades of Grey: Uncovering the Century Old Imperial Imprint on Jamaica’s Modern Copyright Act
Dianne Daley

8. The Imperial Copyright Act 1911’s Role in Shaping South African Copyright Law
Tana Pistorius

9. No Copyright Law is an Island
Ysolde Gendreau


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