A rapid succession of technological advances – big data, robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence – is steadily changing how firms engage in productive activity, how consumers interact, and how knowledge goods are acquired, shared, and governed. The rise of big data and the increasingly widespread adoption of artificial intelligence across many industries have complicated our understanding of the values of twentieth-century intellectual property rules. If anything, the expected social costs (such as privacy) of new technology have already intensified debates – both global and national in scope – about the nature of rules that best foster innovation, facilitate access to public goods, and enable economic development.
This paper explores the fundamental questions facing the copyright system in the new industrial and digital era. It considers a broad range of issues including the evolving concept of authorship, originality, exhaustion issues, and the fair use or fair dealing doctrine in the new global context. It concludes with recommendations on how to redesign global copyright for innovation, competition, and inclusion.