Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Authorship and Copyright In the Digital Age

Brad A. Greenberg, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, has published More Than Just a Formality: Instant Authorship and Copyright's Opt-Out Future in the Digital Age  in volume 59 of the UCLA Law Review (2012). Here is the abstract.

The Digital Age has forever changed the role of copyright in promoting the progress of science and the arts. The Era of Instant Authorship has indeed provided copyright to countless authors unmotivated by copyright incentives, but it has also made it impracticable for copyright to return to a system requiring author adherence to formalities such as notice and registration. Though many intellectual property scholars today argue for “reformalizing” copyright, they fail to fully consider the consequences of shifting from the current opt-out copyright system to an opt-in regime. 

This Comment fills that gap by exploring how an opt-in regime would work in a world with countless authors. It ultimately argues that returning to an opt-in copyright system via formalities would actually disincentivize authors who are presently motivated by copyright. Finally, this Comment then concludes with a discussion of why an opt-out system that automatically grants authors rights is supported by the different theories of the U.S. Constitution’s Copyright Clause.

Download the Comment from SSRN at the link.

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