Views on Copyright

By: Jennifer Burns

From what is stated in the aim of copyright grants, the law in the first place intends to stimulate scientific progress, whereas protection of the individual moral and economic rights is secondary to that of the society. Following this pattern of thought, under utilitarianism, both neo-classicist and economic incentive rationale approaches, there is no intrusion of the moral rights of the author when a compulsory copyright license is issued. Now, let us consider the two primary approaches to the copyright in more detail.

The two views on the copyright are based on utilitarianism - both essentially take wealth maximization and allocative efficiency as the starting point of the analysis, however further articulation on the subject matter follows the opposite directions. Incentive maximization was formed in the early 18th century, when the Statute of Anne of 1709 based its approaches on the copyright law assuming that writers will not get stimulus to publish their works if their rights are not adequately respected through prohibition of reprinting.

As such, copyright is necessary to protect the market from being undermined in creative expression. However, there are a few shortfalls of this incentive arising from the increasing social cost, as copyright has to be limited in order to avoid possible monopoly pricing. Consequently, the incentive approach does not favour issuance of the compulsory copyright license. Under this approach, moral rights of a creator can be intruded to the extent to make it still perspective for others to continue to work in Science and Arts; however, in general the issuance of compulsory copyright license should be minimized.

Neo-classicists view the subject matter from an absolutely different perspective. Even though they do not deny the need for stimulus formation for creators, the incentive approach is still two-dimensional. The notion of the copyright itself is broadened to include the mechanism for market facilitation through moving already existent works to the highest potential value. Copyright will be mostly effectively implemented only if copyright owners are able to realize the full profit from the product created. As such, rationalization of the development of creative works would come as a consequence of selling the exploitation rights and in such way realizing the full benefits of copyright ownership. Consequently, copyright owners can charge public for the works created not to undermine the value, but rather to establish a guide for resource allocation in the future. As such, neo-classicists would favour the diminishing public domain.

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