The Scrolls and the Legal Definition of Authorship

Hector L. MacQueen

in The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199207237
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 The Scrolls and the Legal Definition of Authorship

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This article presents the facts and decision in Elisha Qimron v. Hershel Shanks; some general remarks on copyright law; and the Issues re-ventilated in Dr. Lionel Sawkins v. Hyperion Records Ltd. The fundamental copyright issue in the Dead Sea Scrolls case was what constituted authorship. The discussion agrees with Jane Gisburg's claim that reconstructive editorial work is that of an author. It also notes that the existence of copyright in an edited text does not enable the right-holder to ‘lock up scholarship’ or prevent access to the material. The very act of publication precludes this, since copyright law does not bar anyone from reading, and the work may be used for private study and research, or quoted from for purposes of criticism and review, so long as that amounts to fair dealing.

Keywords: Elisha Qimron; Hershel Shanks; Israeli copyright law; Lionel Sawkins; Hyperion Records; Dead Sea Scrolls; reconstructive editorial work; Jane Gisburg

Article.  12004 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Judaism and Jewish Studies

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