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48 Hous. L. Rev. 691 (2011-2012)
Copyright on a Clean Slate

handle is hein.journals/hulr48 and id is 703 raw text is: EIGHTH ANNUAL
Paul Goldstein*
New technologies regularly disrupt copyright law in the
United States and around the world, challenging the law to
adjust to new market contours. Recorded music (initially the
pianola roll) triggered one such legal change in 1909; radio,
television, cable, and satellite dominated copyright in the 1920s
through the 1970s; private copying in the '60s through the '80s;
computers, the '80s and '90s; and, for well more than a decade
now, the Internet has tested copyright markets and copyright
It is copyright law's encounter with the Internet that
compels the thorough housecleaning that I propose today. One
reason to start on a clean slate is the Internet's unprecedented
capacity to reduce transaction costs and to organize fluent
markets for information and entertainment that previously were
impracticable; this, the Internet's bright side, will make it
possible to erase from the present Copyright Act a century's
worth of cumbersome, second-best regulatory solutions to what
are essentially market-transaction problems. But the Internet
has a dark side, too, embodied in its widely realized capacity for
unlicensed, but always perfect, copies and streams of copyrighted
works. For this, a new kind of copyright law is also needed-one
that is leaner, more accessible, and more appealing to
consumers-if these unencumbered uses are to be brought under
copyright control. So our clean slate will address the dark side,
* Lillick Professor of Law, Stanford University.


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