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Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Copyright

2020

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Abandoning Copyright, Dave Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2020

Abandoning Copyright, Dave Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

For nearly two hundred years, U.S. copyright law has assumed that owners may voluntarily abandon their rights in a work. But scholars have largely ignored copyright abandonment, and the case law is fragmented and inconsistent. As a result, abandonment remains poorly theorized, owners can avail themselves of no reliable mechanism to abandon their works, and the practice remains rare. This Article seeks to bring copyright abandonment out of the shadows, showing that it is a doctrine rich in conceptual, normative, and practical significance. Unlike abandonment of real and chattel property, which imposes significant public costs in exchange for discrete ...