Re: Does U.S. and foreign copyright law have contradictory goals?

From: Harold Federow <hfederow[_at_]u.washington.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 15:30:23 -0800

On Mon, 16 Sep 96 20:44:38 -0400 johnl[_at_]ibm.net wrote:
>
> Assume for the moment the following:
>
> That U.S. Copyright law does not have as its goal establishing property
> rights for authors or distributors. Assume instead that its primary
> purpose is to ensure maximum public access to ideas and works. To the
> extent that authors are granted a monopoly it is as a means to that end.
>
> Would that goal be at cross purposes with the goals that other countries
> see for copyright law? I note that most European materials that I have
> seen on copyright stress the author's rights as the end goal of copyright.
>
> (I realize that events of th last decade or two may suggest that my
> assumption about U.S. copyright's goals may not seem accurate. I think
> though it is what the Constitution had in mind)

And, there are Supreme Court decisions supporting your viewpoint. Of late, though, there seems to be a lot more focus on author's rights even here.

I also agree that different goals produce different results as we will no doubt see. I can envisage that there may be a case or two on constitutional grounds in this area.

Harold Federow
<hfederow[_at_]u.washington.edu> Received on Tue Sep 17 1996 - 22:25:25 GMT

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