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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The AALS Poster Project: Bridget Crawford's Sticky Copyrights: Discriminatory Tax Restraints on Transfers of Intellectual Property

Bridget J. Crawford presented the poster,  Sticky Copyrights: Discriminatory Tax Restraints on Transfers of Intellectual Property (Download StickyCopyrightsPoster[1]):
StickyCopyrightsPoster[1]  

Professor Crawford is a professor at Pace Law School, where she has taught since 2003. She teaches Federal Income Taxation, Estate and Gift Taxation, Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Feminist Legal Theory. The graduating classes of 2005, 2006, and 2007 selected her as Barbara C. Salken Outstanding Professor of the Year. She is a regular blogger on Feminist Law Professors, and some of her recent articles are Taxation, Pregnancy, and Privacy, William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law (forthcoming 2010)Tax Avatars, 2008 Utah Law Review 793 (2008), and Toward a Third-Wave Feminist Legal Theory: Young Women, Pornography, and the Praxis of Pleasure, 14 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 99 (2007) (winner of the 2007 Goettel Prize for Faculty Scholarship).

Professor Crawford's poster is connected to her forthcoming article in the Washington and Lee Law Review (written with Mitchell Gans)Sticky Copyrights, Discriminatory Tax Restraints on the Transfer of Intellectual Property.

Here is Professor Crawford's brief explanation of the poster:

The poster illustrates the estate and gift tax treatment of transfers of copyrights.  "Sticky Copyrights, Discriminatory Tax Restraints on the Transfer of Intellectual Property" is the title of an article forthcoming in the Washington & Lee Law Review written by Mitchell Gans (Hofstra) and me.

And here is the abstract of the article:

The article focuses on the federal estate and gift tax treatment of copyright termination rights.  The ability of a creative individual to terminate prior copyright transfers serves to protect against economic exploitation.  Once a copyright’s value has been established in the marketplace, the author (or the author’s heirs) enjoy a “second look” at the gift, sale, license or other transfer of a copyright.  But copyright termination rights – intended to enhance the economic well-being of authors and artists – undermine estate-planning strategies available to owners of other types of property.  There is no policy justification for such discrimination, and so this article proposes legislative changes that would level the playing field for wealth transfer tax purposes. make effective estate planning nearly impossible. Intellectual property law causes wealth transfer tax rules to apply more harshly to copyrights than to other property.  This article argues that there is no policy justification for the negative tax treatment of copyrights.  This article proposes legislative changes that would allow authors and artists to transfer their intellectual property as freely as they can transfer other assets. 

-CM

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