Pirates and Publishers: A Social History of Copyright in Modern China

Princeton University Press
Free sample

A detailed historical look at how copyright was negotiated and protected by authors, publishers, and the state in late imperial and modern China

In Pirates and Publishers, Fei-Hsien Wang reveals the unknown social and cultural history of copyright in China from the 1890s through the 1950s, a time of profound sociopolitical changes. Wang draws on a vast range of previously underutilized archival sources to show how copyright was received, appropriated, and practiced in China, within and beyond the legal institutions of the state. Contrary to common belief, copyright was not a problematic doctrine simply imposed on China by foreign powers with little regard for Chinese cultural and social traditions. Shifting the focus from the state legislation of copyright to the daily, on-the-ground negotiations among Chinese authors, publishers, and state agents, Wang presents a more dynamic, nuanced picture of the encounter between Chinese and foreign ideas and customs.

Developing multiple ways for articulating their understanding of copyright, Chinese authors, booksellers, and publishers played a crucial role in its growth and eventual institutionalization in China. These individuals enforced what they viewed as copyright to justify their profit, protect their books, and crack down on piracy in a changing knowledge economy. As China transitioned from a late imperial system to a modern state, booksellers and publishers created and maintained their own economic rules and regulations when faced with the absence of an effective legal framework.

Exploring how copyright was transplanted, adopted, and practiced, Pirates and Publishers demonstrates the pivotal roles of those who produce and circulate knowledge.

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About the author

Fei-Hsien Wang is assistant professor of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is also a research associate at the Centre for History and Economics at the University of Cambridge.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2019
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780691195414
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
History / Asia / China
History / Asia / General
History / Social History
Law / Intellectual Property / Copyright
Law / Intellectual Property / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A prolific writer and a stimulating thinker, Max Scheler ranks second only to Husserl as a leading member of the German phenomenological school. Scheler's work lies mostly in the fields of ethics, politics, sociology, and religion. He looked to the emotions, believing them capable, in their own quality, of revealing the nature of the objects, and more especially the values, to which they are in principle directed.

"Scheler's book is in many ways important and great. The questions raised and the method followed are important: modern British thought with its crude use and abuse of the "emotive theory" could do well with a systematic study of the emotions which might show them up as complex intentional structures, and which might rely as much on the phenomenological insights of a Scheler, as on the behaviouristic flair of Gilbert Ryle."--J.N. Findlay, Mind

Max Scheler (1874-1928) was a professor of philosophy and sociology at the University of Cologne and was best known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology.

Peter Heath (1920-2002) was a professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia and was former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

Werner Stark (1910-1985) was professor of sociology at Fordham University. He is recognized for his work in sociology of religion, social theory, and sociology of knowledge.

Graham McAleer is professor of philosophy and co-chair of the Catholic Social Thought Committee at Loyola College in Maryland.

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