AuthorCameron Hutchison
[ 1 ]
Copyright law is best understood as a policy tool whose overarching
purpose is to promote the generation of knowledge and culture in soci-
ety. It is generally accepted that copyright law does this by advancing
certain interests. ese are () authorial incentive (to ensure an adequate
level of monopoly rights protection for authors so that they have incen-
tive to create “works,” such as music, books, and computer programs,
through commercial exploitation), () user rights (to ensure that down-
stream authors and users of such works can benef‌it from using those
works in new or productive ways during the term of the monopoly),
and () dissemination (to promote the widest possible dissemination to
the public of these works and their uses). In so doing (and possibly as
a fourth interest to consider), copyright law should not unduly burden
technological uses and innovation.
e concurrent advancement of these interests is often not pos-
sible, and conf‌licts between them must then be reconciled, ideally so
as to further copyright’s overarching purpose. e persistent tension
1 Patricia Aufderheide & Peter Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in
Copyright (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) at 16: “Copyright policy is the
collection of ways that a government provides incentives to create culture. And we
mean culture broadly—building, aggregating, and sharing knowledge. Progress is
grounded, as policymakers know, in the growth of culture.”

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