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First Amendment

2012

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Copyright

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Copyright Law And Pornography, Ann Bartow Jan 2012

Copyright Law And Pornography, Ann Bartow

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Sex-for-hire is usually illegal, unless it is being filmed. Debates about pornography tread uneasily into legal terrain that implicates freedom of expression under the First Amendment, the specter of censorship, and genuine concerns about the function and role of pornography in persistent gender inequality. It is less common for conversations about pornography to include a discussion of copyright law. Yet copyright law is a powerful tool that operates to protect the financial interests of pornographers. Owners of copyrighted pornography frequently threaten public exposure of an alleged infringer’s consumption habits in order to force a financial settlement. Thus copyright law operates …