Dealing with Overlapping Copyrights on the Internet
49 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 1996 Last revised: 12 May 2014
This article addresses the problems presented by the effective overlap of copyright's exclusive rights in the context of transmission on computer networks. Simple activities such as sending email or posting to Web pages may implicate the reproduction right, the adaptation right, the distribution right, the performance and display rights, and the new digital performance as well as triggering liability for contributory infringement and under the proposed transmission right. The article suggests that this overlap creates serious problems not only for user rights and defenses, but also for copyright owners who wish to license only a subset of their rights or who wish to divide ownership of their copyright. The article considers as possible solutions to this problem a theory of implied license, as well as a unified statutory transmission right that displaces other exclusive rights.
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation