Die Globalisierung geistiger Eigentumsrechte
(The Globalization of Intellectual Property)
Neue Strukturen internationaler Zusammenarbeit 1886–1952
(New Structures in International Cooperation 1886-1952)
1. Edition 2010
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft -
The rise of modern digital media has kept the reproduction and dissemination of intellectual property in the public limelight for the past 20 years. Today there is an on-going heated debate between the creators, the exploiters and the users of such works – on national, European and international levels at once. Particularly the controversies surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of global standards for copyrights have a long history behind them: Ever since the late 19th century intellectual rights have been the subject of multilateral negotiations, rooted in international organizations and always a part of international politics. Today the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization are particularly concerned with the global ramifications of culture and knowledge, whereas from the 1920s up to the 1950s it was the Berne Convention, the League of Nations and the UNESCO that provided protection of literary and artistic property the world over.
This study looks at the development of international politics in this field. It considers the factors that led to the introduction of global legal standards to protect culture and knowledge in the midst of the globalization of economic life in the second half of the 19th century, during World War I and up to World War II. The authors shows that the global expansion of the protection of intellectual property since the late 19th century was closely entwined with two other historical processes: the globalization of all society, culture and economics since the mid-1800s, and the foundation and expansion of international organizations during the same period of time.