Copyright's Ungainly Expansion

Neil Weinstock Netanel

in Copyright's Paradox

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780195137620
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871629 | DOI:
 Copyright's Ungainly Expansion

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The federal copyright that the Framers envisioned and enacted was a narrow, short‐term right in printed matter. Current copyright holders enjoy a capacious bundle of rights in many more uses of many more types of published works for a far greater time and with fewer preconditions. Yet, until recent decades, copyright law's basic contours still evinced an understanding of copyright as a decidedly limited grant. It has been largely since Congress enacted the Copyright Act revision of 1976 that copyright's scope and duration have burst from their moorings, growing with unwonted precipitousness and force. This chapter details the most troublesome areas of copyright's expansion and conceptual metamorphosis from narrow government grant to Blackstonian property right. It discusses copyright duration, creative appropriation, the turgid waters of the substantial similarity test and the idea/expression dichotomy, the constriction of fair use, “paracopyright,” technological protection measures, personal uses, and new media.

Keywords: copyright; copyright duration; creative appropriation; substantial similarity; idea/expression dichotomy; fair use; paracopyright; technological protection measures; new media

Chapter.  11261 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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