300 years of copyright law: a not so modest proposal for reform
Griffin, James G.H.
John Marshall Journal of Computer and Information Law
John Marshall Law School
2010 sees the three hundredth anniversary of the U.K.’s Statute of Anne 1710. This paper suggests that with the increased ability of content recipients to re-use works, there is a need to readdress the concerns of stakeholders, namely authors, publishers and content recipients. The paper sets out in detail how this should be achieved. To do so, it utilises the notion of creativity as the benchmark by which to balance the interests of stakeholders. This has been used in early eighteenth century case law in the U.K., and there are also other historical and theoretical justifications. The paper then proceeds to propose two new complementary systems. Purchase of the original work is to be required where the later work is quantitatively substantially similar to the original, and where a work is not quantitatively substantially similar, a system of compulsory licensing is to be instituted. The law will also provide a positive right to content recipients to make copies, and, in certain circumstances, a positive right to access technologically protected works.
Author's draft also deposited as a working paper in SSRN. Final version published in John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law
28 John Marshall Journal of Computer and Information Law, 2010