The Need to Revise Copyright Law to Reflect the Changing Costs and Benefits of Modern Digital Reuse of Artistic Creations

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Clemons, Eric
Schreieck, Maximilian
Teilmann-Lock, Stina
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Abstract
Copyright law has always sought to maximize the quantity of valuable creative works available to society. While protecting the creative artists is essential, it is in some sense incidental; the reason to protect the artist is that them, there would be nothing to copy. As new digital technologies for transforming artistic works gain in capability, the ease of producing innovative and valuable works based on the reuse of prior work increases, meaning that society can now benefit from an increased supply of works based on the reuse of others. This suggests that restrictions on reuse that were considered optimal in the past should now be relaxed. We suggest changes to copyright law to achieve this new optimum. We suggest that artistic merit should once again be considered relevant to copyright law, in this case to determine when artistic works should be permitted to reuse works still subject to copyright protection. We retain the concept of originality in deciding when works based on reuse should themselves be granted copyright.
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Strategy, Information, Technology, Economics, and Society (SITES), copyright law, digital reuse of performance, digital transformation, reperformance
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