The Individual as Infringer

John Tehranian

in Infringement Nation

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199733170
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894567 | DOI:
The Individual as Infringer

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This chapter focuses on the individual as infringer by examining copyright law's formal take on an average day in the life of an ordinary individual. In so doing, it builds the case for rethinking the United States modern copyright regime. It conducts a thought or gedanken experiment involving a hypothetical law professor named John, tracing his activities through the course of twenty-four hours and asking one simple question: what would happen if everyone who could sue him for copyright infringement did so and sought the maximum penalties allowed by law? It is shown that there is nothing particularly extraordinary about John's activities. Yet, at the end of the day, he has accumulated millions of dollars in civil liability for actions that, at first blush, appear relatively innocuous. The chapter argues that copyright law has grown increasingly restrictive, to the point that it simultaneously flouts the most fundamental tenets of reasonableness and undermines its goal of encouraging creativity and human development.

Keywords: copyright law; copyright infringement; infringement nation; civil liability; experiment

Chapter.  6902 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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