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Jurisprudence Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Legal Studies

2012

Jurisprudence

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Nov 2012

The Normativity Of Copying In Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Not all copying constitutes copyright infringement. Quite independent of fair use, copyright law requires that an act of copying be qualitatively and quantitatively significant enough or “substantially similar” for it to be actionable. Originating in the nineteenth century, and entirely the creation of courts, copyright’s requirement of “substantial similarity” has thus far received little attention as an independently meaningful normative dimension of the copyright entitlement. This Article offers a novel theory for copyright’s substantial-similarity requirement by placing it firmly at the center of the institution and its various goals and purposes. As a common-law-style device that mirrors the ...