Copyright & Cultural Production

4 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Brian L. Frye

Brian L. Frye

University of Kentucky - College of Law

Date Written: February 14, 2016


The purpose of copyright is to encourage the production of works of authorship. Indeed, the Intellectual Property Clause of the United States Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power, "To promote the progress of science … , by securing for limited times to authors … the exclusive right to their … writings." In the 18th century, "science" meant "knowledge or learning," so the Constitution authorized Congress to create copyright in order to promote knowledge and learning, as embodied in works of authorship. But what does that tell us about the justification for copyright protection, and how we should evaluate its scope and duration? Or rather, how do we ensure that copyright maximizes cultural production?

Keywords: copyright, economics, theory

Suggested Citation

Frye, Brian L., Copyright & Cultural Production (February 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Brian L. Frye (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States


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