Copyright law’s history is one of continuous evolution in the face of technological change. But arguably no prior technological change has impacted copyright with a magnitude comparable to the development of the Internet.
Never before has there been such widespread and immediate access to such a broad array of creative works; never before have content creators – ranging from individuals to large corporations – been able to reach a global audience so effortlessly and inexpensively; and never before has it been possible for members of the public to create, transform or distribute multiple perfect copies of works seamlessly, without regard to national borders. How to retain a meaningful copyright system that continues to drive the production of creative works while at the same time preserving the innovative power of the Internet and the free flow of information are questions at the forefront of today’s policy debate. As a broadening array of creators continue to express themselves and share their valuable works with the world, and as the Internet continues to grow in economic, social and cultural relevance, the importance of these questions will only be heightened.
The industries that rely on copyright are today an integral part of the U.S. economy, accounting for millions of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the G.D.P. Moreover, the creative content they produce contributes to the development of the broader Internet economy, spurring the creation and adoption of innovative distribution technologies. Not only do these industries make important economic contributions, they are at the core of our cultural expression and heritage. It is no exaggeration to say that U.S. music, movies, television shows, computer software, games, writings and works of art have changed the world.
This book provides a lens through which to assess current policy related to copyright and the Internet, identifying important issues that are being addressed by the courts and those that are ripe for further discussion and development of solutions. (Imprint: Nova)