Copyright formalities and the Berne Convention – Interview with Jane C. Ginsburg

An Interview with Jane C. Ginsburg which took place at Literature Digital, a conference at ‘Haus der Kulturen der Welt’ in Berlin, Germany. Jane C. Ginsburg is the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia Law School, and an expert on the questions of International Copyright Law. Two members of Humboldt Law School’s Internet Law Clinic, Lena Lickteig and Falko Rübekeil, met with her to talk about possibilities for the formalization of copyright.

Lena & Falko: Prof. Ginsburg, in one of your papers, you are answering to the claim that “formalities can supply the cure for all copyright ills”. Could you begin by telling us about the problems we are currently facing without formalities?

Ginsburg: The claim of those who think we should bring formalities back is that without formalities we might not know who the author is, we might not know when it was published, so that we cannot know whether the work is still protected, and if so, who holds rights in it. Worse, because copyright protects works regardless of their literary or artistic merit, copyright ends up covering many things which have no particular value. As a result, if we don’t have some mechanism for putting things into the public domain, and for informing people that they are free to use creations, everything will get locked up. When I said that formalities can cure all copyright ills, I want to make clear that is not my position, but it is a claim for some of those who would say that copyright protects too much stuff. According to this view, if we had formalities, then most stuff would go into the public domain because most people would not take the time or effort to put a notice of copyright on everything they’ve ever written, to register it with some governmental authority, to pay to register with some governmental authority. With formalities maybe 90% of everything people create would automatically be free ...

Zum vollständigen Artikel

Cookies helfen bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung erklären Sie sich mit der Cookie-Setzung einverstanden. Mehr OK