Friday, December 14, 2018

States' Rights and Copyright

Bill of Rights
In the United States, December 15 is Bill of Rights Day.  The Amendment X states:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
This is referred to as states' rights. States' rights have been in the news this year, and likely every year, for those rights which the States control related to individuals in each state (e.g., healthcare).  Besides the rights which are reserved for the States, it is important to recognize which rights the U.S. government delegated to itself through the Constitution.  One of the rights under the federal government controls is:
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries
Yes, copyright!  I am wrapping up my graduate copyright class and am thankful that I only needed to teach one law (federal) and not 50 different state laws.  At the federal level, copyright is simple, complex, freeing, constricting, and fun.  This year, there were important changes in copyright law, including the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act and the Music Modernization Act. I'm glad that these changes apply across the U.S. equally because of Amendment X.

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