That Old Thing, Copyright..: Reconciling the Postmodern Paradox in the New Digital Age
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Quarterly Journal, Vol. 39, No. 1, p. 71, 2011
50 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2011
Much has been made about the so-called "postmodern crisis" in contemporary copyright law — that is, postmodernism's emphasis on deconstruction, mechanization, and willful appropriation in its treatment of artistic subject and work. This Article will attempt to reconcile the postmodern paradox with the Enlightenment-based, Progress-centric ideals of the Copyright Clause by situating postmodernism’s ahistoricism on a broader historical timeline and positing reasons for the paradigm shift in accord with the greater function of art. I argue that in denying or affirming the legal legitimacy of the new art form, contemporary copyright law runs counter to the Constitutional prerogative to promote, rather than halt, the progress of the Sciences, and that greater legal leniency towards the new form of production does not have to, as many fear, result in the end of copyright law as we know it. Rather, it merely involves resituating old, Romantic ideals of forward progress and transformation within the new intellectual paradoxes of the remix, digital age.
Keywords: copyright, art law, remix, music, postmodern, fair use
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