Balganesh and Zhang on Legal Internalism of Modern Histories of Copyright @ZhangTaisu

Shyamkrishna Balganesh, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Taisu Zhang, Yale Law School, are publishing Legal Internalism in Modern Histories of Copyright in volume 134 of the Harvard Law Review. Here is the abstract.

Legal internalism refers to the internal point of view that professional participants in a legal practice develop towards it. It represents a behavioral phenomenon wherein such participants treat the domain of law (or a subset of it) as normative, epistemologically self-contained, and logically coherent on its own terms regardless of whether the law actually embodies those characteristics. Thus understood, legal internal-ism remains an important characteristic of all modern legal systems. In this Review Essay, we examine three recent interdisciplinary histories of copyright law to showcase the working of legal internal-ism. We argue that while their interdisciplinary emphasis adds to the conversation about copyright, it also overlooks the centrality of legal internal-ism in the evolution of copyright, a domain that has always been understood as a creation of the law. The Essay unpacks the core tenets of legal internal-ism, examines how it operates as an important variable of legal change, contrasts it with the idea of legal consciousness, and shows how legal internal-ism directs and regulates the entry of non-legal considerations into different areas of law.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.