78 UMKC L. Rev. 749 (2009-2010)
Copyleft, the Disguised Copyright: Why Legislative Copyright Reform is Superior to Copyleft Licenses

handle is hein.journals/umkc78 and id is 755 raw text is: COPYLEFT, THE DISGUISED COPYRIGHT: WHY
LEGISLATIVE COPYRIGHT REFORM IS SUPERIOR
TO COPYLEFT LICENSES
Christopher S. Brown*
Congress shall have Power 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. 
United States Constitution
Article I, Section 8
1. INTRODUCTION
Congress has the power to promote the [p]rogress of useful arts.2 This is
a noble goal, one with which most people would agree. The problem, however,
is that everyone has a different idea as to what it means to promote the
progress and, more particularly, the best means to achieve such a goal. Since
enacting the first Copyright Act in 1790,' Congress has expanded the exclusive
rights granted to copyright owners to a point where the owners control nearly
every aspect regarding the exploitation of their works.4 Not everyone agrees,
however, with such an expansion of rights,5 and this disagreement is traceable to
basic theories and justifications of how best to promote the progress of useful
arts.
The most common justification for both copyright laws, and their inevitable
expansion to address new technologies, usually rests with the theory that
copyright protection will encourage people to invest time and money in the
creation of new works and that, as a result, society will benefit from those new
works.6 This protection-to-encourage-investment theory, often termed the all-
right-reserved approach, is the most practical reason for protecting useful arts
and has lead to strict liability copyright laws around the world and in the United
. Juris Doctor Candidate, May 2010, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law;
Bachelor of Business Administration, May 2005, Belmont University. The author would like to
thank his wife, Hilary, and his family for their continued support and encouragement as well as
Professor Abdel-khalik for her assistance in drafting this comment.
l U.S. CONST. art. I,  8, cl. 8.
21d.
3 WILLIAM F. PATRY, COPYRIGHT LAW AND PRACTICE 29-30 (1994), available at http://digital-law-
online.info/patry/patry5.html.
4 See Lydia P. Loren, Building a Reliable Semicommons of Creative Works: Enforcement of
Creative Commons Licenses and Limited Abandonment of Copyright, 14 GEO. MASON L. REV. 271,
271-72 (2007).
5 See id. at 283-84.
6 See ROBERT P. MERGES, PETER S. MENNELL & MARK A. LEMLEY, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE
NEW TECHNOLOGICAL AGE 10-11 (2007).

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