The seminar discusses the emergence of a new paradigm in copyright law. Taking shape by effect of legislative initiative, judicial interpretation and private-ordering mechanisms, this paradigm manifests as a response to the increased routine of bulk copying and to the automated processing of copyright content in the online world. Exemplary in this respect is mass digitization, i.e. the conversion of copyright works in digital format on an industrial scale to form part of digital repositories and large aggregations of data. While digital technology, in the last twenty years, has challenged a number of established copyright principles—first of all the very notion of the ‘copy’ and its role as benchmark of infringement—mass-digital technologies and practices are progressively turning copyright from a regime of ex ante permission to a system of de facto free uses taking place with opt-outs. Although this system promises to cure some of the inefficiencies of ‘digital copyright’, it also bears the risk of generating new and not readily transparent monopolies on information and knowledge. For this reason, it is imperative to settle the principles of a possible new regulatory framework for the ‘mass-digital age’.

The seminar expands on the argument developed in the book Copyright and Mass Digitization (M. Borghi & S. Karapapa, OUP 2013). A sample chapter can be freely downloaded here:

Directions to the seminar room from the Porter’s Lodge. Refreshments provided, all are welcome (registration not required. Please direct enquiries to