Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



This Article charts the three phases in the evolution of the norm of attribution in literary works: the norm in England before and during Shakespeare's time, the emergence of authorship-based norms in the Romantic period (allowing moral rights to be enshrined in international copyright treaties) and their demise at the hands of postmodernism and New Criticism, and the current norms that aim to protect the integrity of educational processes and to inform readers and other users of books, plays, or other creative works about their "source." It tracks a debate during Shakespeare's lifetime on the difference between nonattribution and false attribution. It suggests that current attribution norms can be put in parallel with trademarks and are meant to protect both authors and the public.