Book Chapter

Is It Copyright's Role to Fill Houses with Books?

Rebecca Giblin

Intellectual Property and the Regulation of the Internet | Victoria University Press | Published : 2017


The tale of the beggar, the cook and the judge appears now and then in folklore. A common version begins with a beggar savouring the aroma of a merchant's stew. When hauled before a court to account for his theft, he is forced to disgorge his tiny stock of coins. But the merchant doesn't get to keep them: the judge rules that the sound of the money is sufficient to compensate for the smell of the dish. This allegory is a helpful prompt in thinking about legal treatment of intangibles generally, but is particularly thought-provoking in the current socio-technological environment.

University of Melbourne Researchers