Replacing God with Big Data: personalizing copyright law

A. Libson, Ayelet Hoffman Libson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can religious law serve as a source of inspiration for a modern legal system? As all religious legal systems, Jewish law includes statutes that rely on a premise of divine omniscience. By assuming a worldview in which God sees into the human heart, Jewish law can allow for subjective and personalized legal norms that derive from individuals' assessments of value or need. Ostensibly, the centrality of divine omniscience in enabling such laws renders them irrelevant to a secular legal system. This article highlights how, surprisingly, the legal structure of these norms may nonetheless be a fruitful source of inspiration for a modern legal system. The article focuses on the Jewish legal model of personalized copyright, and demonstrates how this model could be applied in modern secular law by replacing the function of the belief in divine omniscience with the use of big data. 
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)181-206
Number of pages27
JournalBoston University International Law Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2021


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