M. Borghi and S. Karapapa – Copyright and Mass Digitization (2013)

Maurizio Borghi and Stavroula Karapapa Copyright and Mass Digitization: A cross-jurisdictional perspective, Oxford University Press: 2013

Mass digitization of texts, images, and other creative works promises to unprecedentedly enhance access to culture and knowledge. With the electronic ‘library of Alexandria’ having started to materialize, a number of legal and policy issues have emerged. The book develops an extended conceptual account of the ways in which mass digital projects challenge the established copyright norms through the wholesale copying of works, their storage in cloud environments, and their automated processing for purposes of data analytics and text mining. As individual licensing is not compatible with the mass scale of these activities, alternative approaches have gained momentum as effect of judicial interpretation, legislative initiative and private-ordering solutions.

This book queries the normative and policy implications of this newly emerging framework in copyright law. Adopting a cross-jurisdictional perspective, it concludes that lack of clarity as to the scope of authorial consent does not only bear the risk of legal uncertainty, but can also lead to the creation of new and not readily transparent monopolies on information and knowledge. In this respect, a new regulatory framework is outlined drawing from the insights developed in areas of law where the concept of consent in the use of data has been thoroughly elaborated.

Illustrating how mass digitization unveils a number of unsettled theoretical issues within copyright, the book builds a sophisticated case that digital repositories in the mass digital age should be and remain fully-fledged public goods to the benefit of future generations.

>> Order the book here from OUP website, or from Amazon

Oxford University Press     



  • Emily Hudson, European Intellectual Property Review: “For many years there has been an interest in the copyright ramifications of digitisation. Cultural institutions, for example, have long recognised the potential benefits of digitisation, for instance by facilitating access to a greater proportion of their collections… (full text available on EIPR 2014, 36(1), 72-73) 
  • Ghufran Sukkaryeh, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice: “Copyright and Mass Digitization provides a critical analysis of a significant and contemporary copyright topic. The main thesis of the book is that the features of digital technology and mass digitization challenge the classical rules and principles of copyright…. read more
  • Giulia Dore, SCRIPTed: “Copyright and Mass Digitization addresses the composite and challenging relationship between mass digitization- defined as the process of bulk digital transformation of copyright works in order to serve the operation of digital repositories or other online resources- and copyright law, whose conventional norms and principles appear nowadays to be significantly challenged by the former…. read more
  • Eleonora Rosati, The 1709 Blog: “Amidst both excitement and concerns surrounding digitisation projects, a new book written by Maurizio Borghi and Stavroula Karapapa and entitled Copyright and Mass Digitization (OUP:2013) has just appeared in the copyright literature galaxy… read more