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University of New Hampshire

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Copyright Law And Pornography: Reconsidering Incentives To Create And Distribute Pornography, Ann Bartow Jan 2008

Copyright Law And Pornography: Reconsidering Incentives To Create And Distribute Pornography, Ann Bartow

Law Faculty Scholarship

As it moved into the mainstream in the 1970s and early 1980s, pornography obtained copyright protections through judicial fiat, rather than as a result of legislative action. This essay explains how pornography came to be eligible for copyright protections, discusses the social and legal effects of this change, and raises questions about the propriety of according pornography the full benefits of copyright law without taking into account the harms that pornography production can inflict on subordinated or coerced "performers."