Render Copyright unto Caesar: On Taking Incentives Seriously

20 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020

Date Written: 2004


This Essay suggests we bifurcate our thinking. Conventional copyright rules by money, so let it rule the money-bound. Let a different set of rules evolve for more complex uses, particularly when the users have a personal relationship with the utilized text. Much recent scholarship contains dramatic suggestions to secure a freedom to be creative, rewrite, and be imaginative. My work has long sought to defend such freedoms, but I believe we understand imagination and its conditions too little to employ it as a starting point. I suggest instead that we acquire a better conceptual map of the generative process and the mix of incentives that serve it.

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Suggested Citation

Gordon, Wendy J., Render Copyright unto Caesar: On Taking Incentives Seriously (2004). University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 75, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Wendy J. Gordon (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4420 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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