Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Photographer's Copyright

Justin Hughes, Cardozo Law School, has published The Photographer’s Copyright – Photograph as Art, Photograph as Database as Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 347. Here is the abstract.

This Article explores the interaction between copyright law and photography, the 19th century technological development that most challenged copyright’s conceptual underpinnings. Prior to this article, neither courts nor commentators have seen the parallelism between copyright ability issues for photographs and the same issues for compilations of data. After exploring those parallels, the Article describes how originality-based copyright protects far fewer photos than most people believe; why courts stretch notions of originality to protect much photography; the possibility of less robust, incentive-based protection systems; and how technological developments challenge the fragile conceptual framework established in the 19th and 20th centuries for copyright protection of photography.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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