As 2022 comes to a close, I'm sifting through my "did I read?" list and was reminded of this 2021 paper by Michelle Wu. Wu is the former Associate Dean for Library Services and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she has also served as the Interim Associate Dean for Administration & Finance and Head of Law Center Human Resources. She thinks deeply about copyright law, and is admired by many.
This 42-page paper is not light reading, so brew yourself a pot of coffee and settle in!
Wu, Michelle M., "The Corruption of Copyright and Returning It to Its Original Purposes" (2021). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2410.
https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/2410 (DOI: 10.1080/0270319X.2021.1966238)
Since its inception, Copyright has had two purposes: the private interest of the author in being paid for her work and the public interest served by the dissemination of these works. Within the last two decades, though, some industries have systematically undermined both of those interests, redirecting the benefits of copyright towards themselves instead of the intended beneficiaries. This paper looks at the book, music, and entertainment industries, examines how copyright has been used to suppress the uses it was intended to foster, and explores ongoing and proposed avenues for course correction.