In 1998 Microsoft petitioned a rabbinic court in Bnei Brak for a ruling that commercial piracy of software violates Jewish law. The court’s curt one-paragraph ruling proclaims that rabbis have ruled on similar questions since the dawn of print. Prof. Netanel’s new book traces the emergence and historical development of this Jewish law of copyright. He places Jewish copyright law in the context of the Jewish book trade; the precariousness of Jewish communal autonomy; and the influence of modern copyright law and of secular and papal book privileges on key rabbinic rulings.

About the Speaker: Neil Netanel teaches and writes in the areas of copyright, free speech, international intellectual property, and telecommunications law and policy. His recent books and book projects include Copyright’s Paradox (Oxford University Press, 2008); The Development Agenda: Global Intellectual Property and Developing Countries (Neil Weinstock Netanel ed., Oxford University Press, 2008); From Maimonides to Microsoft; The Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016); and The Battles Over Copyright: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016).


Netanel_Final front cover


Neil W. Netanel (UCLA)


Sponsored By:
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Funding Provided by the
NEH Endowment in Jewish Civilization