This article considers the extent to which insights from the philosophy of art can assist copyright law in identifying the author or authors of works to which many have contributed. In doing so, it looks to institutional theories of art, which go beyond a simple bifurcation of ‘author’ and ‘work’, and focus instead on broader determinants of an art work’s production, such as the ‘artworld’. It puts forward a framework focusing on three components of authorship supported by these theories: role, authority and intention. The paper then draws attention to some important challenges that this framework raises for copyright law’s joint authorship doctrine in the UK and USA, and suggests some ways in which copyright law might be reformed, so as to allow copyright to retain its own benchmarks while also bringing conceptions of authorship in law and art closer together.
Laura Biron and Elena Cooper, Authorship, Aesthetics and the Artworld: Reforming Copyright’s Joint Authorship Doctrine. Law and Philosophy, February 2016, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 55-85.