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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Jurisprudence

Torts

2009

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Foreseeability And Copyright Incentives, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Apr 2009

Foreseeability And Copyright Incentives, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Copyright law’s principal justification today is the economic theory of creator incentives. Central to this theory is the recognition that while copyright’s exclusive rights framework provides creators with an economic incentive to create, it also entails large social costs, and that creators therefore need to be given just enough incentive to create in order to balance the system’s benefits against its costs. Yet, none of copyright’s current doctrines enable courts to circumscribe a creator’s entitlement by reference to limitations inherent in the very idea of incentives. While the common law too relies on providing actors ...