Publication Does Not Really Mean Publication: The Need to Amend the Definition of Publication in the Copyright Act
George Washington University Law School
American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, p. 225, Summer 2005
This article examines whether electronic dissemination of a work (e.g., distribution via the Internet) results in publication under the 1976 Copyright Act. The author argues that the definition of publication needs to be amended to explicitly include electronic dissemination because there is strong support for the interpretation that publication cannot result from electronic dissemination. Publication is still very significant because publication is necessary for a plaintiff to receive statutory damages. The author's argument is supported by an analysis of the meaning of publication under the 1976 Copyright Act and a critique of the Southern District of New York's analysis of publication in Getaped.com, Inc. v. Cangemi. The author also discusses the failed attempt to amend the definition of publication in 1995, as well as necessary considerations and potential obstacles to amending the definition of publication.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: copyright, publication, Internet, web, website, electronic dissemination, Getaped
JEL Classification: k11, k00
Date posted: April 27, 2006