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Articles

Copyright law

2016

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Theory Of Copyright Authorship, Christopher Buccafusco Jan 2016

A Theory Of Copyright Authorship, Christopher Buccafusco

Articles

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to grant rights to “Authors” for their “Writings.” Despite the centrality of these terms to copyright jurisprudence, neither the courts nor scholars have provided coherent theories about what makes a person an author or what makes a thing a writing. This article articulates and defends a theory of copyrightable authorship. It argues that authorship involves the intentional creation of mental effects in an audience. A writing, then, is any fixed medium capable of producing mental effects. According to this theory, copyright may attach to the original, fixed, and minimally creative form or manner …


The Moral Psychology Of Copyright Infringement, Christopher Buccafusco, Dave Fagundes Jan 2016

The Moral Psychology Of Copyright Infringement, Christopher Buccafusco, Dave Fagundes

Articles

Numerous recent cases illustrate that copyright owners sue for infringement even when an unauthorized use of their work causes them no economic harm. This presents a puzzle from the perspective of copyright theory as well as a serious social problem, since infringement suits designed to remedy non-economic harms tend to stifle rather than encourage creative production. While much scholarship has critiqued copyright’s economic theory from the perspective of authors’ incentives to create, ours is the first to explore this issue from the perspective of owners’ motivations to sue for infringement. We turn to moral psychology, and in particular to moral …