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2003

Social welfare

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Authors' Welfare: Copyright As A Statutory Mechanism For Redistributing Rights, Tom Bell Dec 2002

Authors' Welfare: Copyright As A Statutory Mechanism For Redistributing Rights, Tom Bell

Tom W. Bell

Copyright exhibits means and ends remarkably similar to those of social welfare programs. Yet discussions about copyright do not tend to echo discussions about welfare. This paper examines that interesting contrast. It begins by comparing social welfare policy to copyright policy, uncovering several material parallels. Both welfare and copyright primarily aim to correct the market's failure to sufficiently support a particular class of beneficiaries. Both encourage rights-based claims to the entitlements that they create, too. The welfare system and the copyright system each uses statutory mechanisms to redistribute rights - rights to wealth in the first instance, rights to chattels ...