Philosophy of copyright
The philosophy of copyright might be said to include several philosophical issues which are fundamentally linked to copyright policy, and other jurisprudential problems that arise in legal systems' interpretation and application of copyright law. Probably the most profound and widely debated philosophical issue amongst scholars of copyright law, is its purpose. Some take the approach of looking for coherent justifications of established copyright systems, while others start with general ethical theories, such as utilitarianism and try to analyse policy through that lens. Another approach denies the meaningfulness of any ethical justification for existing copyright law, viewing it simply as a result (and perhaps an undesirable result) of political processes. Another widely debated issue is the relationship between copyrights and other forms of "intellectual property", and material property. Most scholars of copyright agree that it can be called a kind of property, because it involves the exclusion of others from something. But there is disagreement about the extent to which that fact should allow the transportation of other beliefs and intuitions about material possessions. There are many other philosophical questions which arise in the jurisprudence of copyright. They include such problems as determining when one work is "derived" from another, or deciding when information has been placed in a "tangible" or "material" form.
Justifications for copyright: Legal scholars often approach copyright in search of a coherent ethical justification for its existence and character. This approach may seem to be backwards—it might make more sense to start with an objective and then examine the law against it—but it is widely practised. Thus, the normative or ethical theories that might naively be regarded as tests for copyright law to pass are often called `justifications' of it. Justifications for copyright can generally be approximated into two groups: deontological or consequentialist. Deontological justifications for copyright seek to justify copyright as a matter of rights or duty, they seek to assert a justification for copyright (or intellectual property more generally) on the basis that it is morally correct to do so. Contrariwise, consequentialist theories of copyright seek to justify or criticise copyright protection based on the consequences of that protection, by asserting or providing evidence that the protection of copyright produces some desirable effect. Examples of such theories include incentives theories that view intellectual property as a necessary way of incentivising the creation of new creative works.
Natural rights: Natural rights are linked to the logic of property. John Locke is often cited as an authority, although it is not clear that Locke actually viewed copyright as a natural right. Personality rights are the basis of German copyright law. This position regards copyrightable works to be extensions of the author's personality. The author is given certain powers to control those works on account of his or her connection to them.
Consequentialist theories: Consequentialist theories of copyright hold that we should have the laws that will produce the `best' results for society. The most common consequentialist position is utilitarianism, which defines the `best' situations to be those in which people are in total as happy or fulfilled as possible. A related class of theories is called instrumentalism; it holds that copyright law must exist for clear, coherent and necessary purposes, without being so strict as to require that it maximise some kind of `goodness' in its outcome. Some copyright scholars believe that, regardless of contemporary advances in technology, copyright remains the fundamental way by which authors, sculptors, artists, musicians and others can fund the creation of new works, and that without a significant period of legal protection of their future income, many valuable books and artworks would not be created. They argue that the public interest is best served by repeated extension of copyright terms to encompass multiple generations beyond the copyright holder's life, as this increases the present value of the copyright, encouraging the creation for new works and making additional investments in older works (for example, the restoration of old movies) economically viable. Authors' heirs continue to profit if copyrights are enforced post-death and this provides a substantial incentive for continued fresh work even as authors age.
The modern, market-driven copyright system provides authors with independent financing (through royalties). Without a feasible way to recoup investments of creative time through copyright, there would be little economic incentive to produce and works would need to be motivated by a desire for fame from already affluent authors or those able to obtain patronage (with associated constraints on independence). Proponents of copyright dispute that copyright erodes precepts for creators to be able to build on published expression pointing to concepts such as Scènes à faire and Idea-expression divide. Copyright only protects the artist's expression of his/her work and not the ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in it and thus artists are free to get ideas from copyrighted works.Defenders of the present system of strong copyrights argue that it has been largely successful in financing the creation and distribution of a wide variety of works, especially those requiring significant labor and capital. Moderate scholars seem to support that view while recognizing the need for exceptions and limitations, such as the fair use doctrine. Notably, a substantial portion of the current U.S. Copyright Act (sections 107-120) is devoted to such exceptions and limitations.
Consequentialism in the United States: Consequentialism or instrumentalism is the legal foundation of copyright law in the United States. Article One of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress 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".
Many authors thought that this wording would actually require U.S. copyright laws to serve the purpose of `promoting the progress of science and useful arts'. To find an attorney please check the largest attorney directory online or to find an child support attorney please check the largest child support attorney directory online or to find an traffic attorney please check the largest traffic attorney directory online or to find an attorney for disability please check the largest attorney for disability directory online.
In the US in 2003 controversial changes implemented by the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extending the length of copyright under U.S. copyright law by 20 years were challenged in the United States Supreme Court.