Christopher Sprigman reviews Copyfraud

At JOTWELL, Christopher Sprigman (University of Virginia) has posted a review of Copyfraud entitled Law in the Books vs. Law in the World. Sprigman writes:

The copyright law on the books is not the copyright law we have out in the world.  The rights of copyright owners are both broad and relatively clear, and the remedies available for infringement of those rights are very powerful – indeed, they are purposely designed to be supra-compensatory.  But the rights of users – i.e., of the public at large – are both narrow and poorly defined.  The result of this mismatch is predictable: over-assertion of copyright is unlikely, in the run of cases, successfully to be resisted.  This fact contributes in turn to a slow shift in the real-world content of the copyright law toward broader property claims, and away from the careful balance that copyright law attempts to achieve between private rights and public access to our culture.

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