posted Oct 12, 2000

Copyrights Rule
General IP Issues
10/12/2000; 3:58:48 PM

'As the copyright wars rage on in courts across the country – the deCSS case in New York, (MPPP) and Napster in California, Cyberpatrol in Massachusetts – some people are beginning to ask a very interesting question: Why do the courts treat laws that regulate copyright so differently from laws that regulate pornography? Or to put it another way, why is it so easy to invoke the power of the state to protect Hollywood, yet so difficult to wield the power of the state to protect kids?...

'The regulation of porn raises a question of free speech. Courts get that. So too does the regulation of copyright raise a question of free speech. But courts don't yet see that. They don't yet understand the ways in which this state sponsored monopoly over "who can say what" can, at times, interfere with the "freedom of speech." They don't see it because for 200 years, copyright law has functioned with little interference from the First Amendment. There have been a handful of cases raising extreme claims of conflict, but no clear case that yet addresses how courts are to evaluate the intersection of copyright law and the First Amendment.'

The major issues on this site are all about the intersection of laws previously seperate.


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