Thursday, May 31, 2007

Copyright and Authorship

Professor Tim Wu, of Columbia Law School, recently published "On Copyright's Authorship Policy", available to download from the Internet Archive

It has long been the stated aspiration of copyright to make authors the masters of their own destiny. Yet more often than not, the real subject of American copyright is distributors ... who control the rights, bring the lawsuits, and take copyright as their industries’ “life-sustaining protection.” Modern American copyright history revolves heavily, ... on distributors, either asking for more industry protection, or fighting amongst themselves.

Today, there are lessons for copyright’s authorship policy in the more than five million items under Creative Commons licenses, the proliferation of Open Access licensing in academia, and the use of open source licenses by commercial entities like IBM and Apple. Snippets from On Copyright's Authorship Policy

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