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Copyright, Ghosts, Information

Bellido, Jose (2023) Copyright, Ghosts, Information. Polemos: Journal of Law, Literature and Culture, 17 (2). pp. 233-249. E-ISSN 2036-4601. (doi:10.1515/pol-2023-2019) (KAR id:104161)


In 1985, Marianne Mele Hall, the chairman of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, resigned after a controversy surrounding her role in writing Lawrence Hafstad’s book, Foundations of Sand (1982), which included several racist passages. Although at first she claimed to have been the co-author, when the scandal broke she tried to avoid the political controversy by describing her role as a ghost writer or an editor. While the effort was to no avail and she had to resign, it nevertheless prompted an interesting epistolary conversation between the information scientist, Eugene Garfield, and the sociologist of science, Robert K. Merton, about the differences between the two terms. This essay looks at that correspondence and situates it alongside the emergence of the information industry affecting copyright.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1515/pol-2023-2019
Uncontrolled keywords: copyright; ghosts; information; invisible; editor; ownership
Subjects: K Law
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Jose Bellido
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2023 10:12 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 14:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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