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Addressing The Incoherency Of The Preemption Provision Of The Copyright Act Of 1976, Joseph P. Bauer
Section 301 of the Copyright Act of 1976 expressly preempts state law actions that are within the "general scope of copyright" and that assert claims that are "equivalent to" the rights conferred by the Act. The Act eliminated the previous system of common law copyright for unpublished works, which had prevailed under the prior 1909 Copyright Act. By federalizing copyright law, the drafters of the statute sought to achieve uniformity and to avoid the potential for state protection of infinite duration.
The legislative history of § 301 stated that this preemption provision was set forth "in the clearest and most …