Copyright's Communications Policy
Wu, Tim, "Copyright's Communications Policy" . Michigan Law Review, Vol. 103, p. 278, November 2004
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This paper suggest that the main challenges for 21st century copyright are not challenges of authorship policy, but rather new and harder problems for copyright's communications policy. Since its inception copyright has set important baselines upon which publishers and their modern equivalents compete.business. As the pace of technological change accelerates, copyright's role in setting the conditions for competition is quickly becoming more important, even challenging for primacy the significance of copyright's encouragement of authorship.
The study of copyright's communications policy has both a descriptive and a normative payoff. First, it helps us understand both the existing copyright code and the history of 20th century copyright. Second, it helps us ask whether copyright is in line with other important goals of national communications policy.
Keywords: copyright, communications, telecommunications, authorship, compulsory licensing, public choice, vertical foreclosure, new institutional economics, legal history
Facts on copyright
- No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings. Later acts amended US Copyright law so that making 10 copies or more is considered commercial, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act effectively permits DRM (Digital Rights/Restrictions Management) to prevent manufacture, importation, or distribution of recording devices if the device bypasses an access or copy control.
- The right to adapt a work means to transform the way in which the work is expressed. Examples include developing a stage play or film script from a novel translating a short story and making an arrangement of a musical work. Limits and exceptions to copyright Main article: Limitations and exceptions to copyright. Idea-expression dichotomy and the merger doctrine Main article: Idea-expression divide A copyright covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself --- this is called the idea/expression or fact/expression dichotomy. For example, if a book is written describing a new way to organize books in a library, a copyright does not prohibit a reader from freely using and describing that concept to others. It is only the particular expression of that process as originally described that is covered by copyright.
- First-sale doctrine Copyright law does not restrict anyone from reselling legitimately obtained copies of copyrighted works, provided that those copies were originally produced by or with the permission of the copyright holder. It is therefore legal, for example, to resell a copyrighted book or CD. In the United States this is known as the first-sale doctrine, and was established by the courts to clarify the legality of reselling books in second-hand bookstores.
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