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2013

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The Derivative Right, Or Why Copyright Law Protects Foxes Better Than Hedgehogs, Daniel J. Gervais Jan 2013

The Derivative Right, Or Why Copyright Law Protects Foxes Better Than Hedgehogs, Daniel J. Gervais

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The derivative right is at the very core of copyright theory. What can and cannot be reused to create a new work impacts freedom of expression but also impacts the value of the markets for works and their various “derivatives.” The derivative right includes forms of derivation and adaptation, such as making a movie from a novel or translating a book. It also covers what this Article refers to as penumbral derivatives, which the US Copyright Act captures using the phrase “based upon” with respect to preexisting works. This leads to indeterminacy about the scope of the derivative right, which ...