What Is Freedom of Speech?

Neil Weinstock Netanel

in Copyright's Paradox

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780195137620
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871629 | DOI:
 What Is Freedom of Speech?

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When does someone's inability to copy, distribute, or build upon a copyrighted work rise to the level of a burden on free speech? When, in contrast, should we readily countenance the restraints that copyright imposes? To answer, this chapter begins with more fundamental questions: What counts as “speech” for purpose of “freedom of speech”? And what free speech principles apply to copyright? This chapter demonstrates that copyright law is an integral part of media and communications policy. It also argues that the important First Amendment value of “expressive diversity” requires a dispersal of communicative power and ample opportunity for speech that directly challenges mainstream culture and popular works. Creative appropriation, the ability to convey one's message and artistic vision by incorporating and building upon mass media sounds and images, thus lies at the heart, not the margins, of freedom of speech. But peer‐to‐peer file sharing is not “speech.”

Keywords: copyright; free speech; mass media; Communications; expressive diversity; creative appropriation; First Amendment; peer‐to‐peer; file sharing

Chapter.  10110 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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