The Copyright Revision Act of 2026

15 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2009 Last revised: 25 Sep 2009

See all articles by Jessica Litman

Jessica Litman

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: September 4, 2009


In this lecture, the Twelfth Annual Honorable Helen Wilson Nies Memorial Lecture in Intellectual Property Law, I suggest we may be gearing up to persuade Congress to embark on a new round of copyright revision. If history is any guide, we already know what a revised copyright law is likely to look like: it will be longer, broader, more complicated and less flexible than the one we have now. Before committing ourselves to that enterprise, we should take the opportunity to imagine what the copyright system might look like if we were free to write on a blank slate. I urge that we should enact a statute that is much shorter and simpler, that gives creators a larger share of copyright goodies and distributors a smaller one, and that builds in enough freedom so that the law won’t encumber reading, viewing, or listening in counterproductive ways.

Keywords: copyright, legislation, reform

Suggested Citation

Litman, Jessica, The Copyright Revision Act of 2026 (September 4, 2009). Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2009; U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 166. Available at SSRN:

Jessica Litman (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States


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