United States of America

  • Peter B. Maggs
Part of the MPI Studies on Intellectual Property and Competition Law book series (MSIP, volume 18)


The balance of copyright in the United States is largely the result of negotiations among major commercial interests, such as the music industry, radio and television broadcasters, and cable television distributors. With the notable exception of “fair use”, the balance is expressed in highly detailed legislation embodying the results of these negotiations. Unfortunately, the interest of the general public usually has been represented poorly in these negotiations. Because of the negotiated nature of the Copyright Act, the Act is extremely long and detailed. The copy of the Act on the official website of the United States Copyright Office is 326 pages long.1 Thus the answers given to the General Reporter’s questions in this national report are necessarily incomplete. Court interpretations play an important role with respect to the general provisions of the Act, such as those on “fair use”. However, court interpretations have only a limited role with respect to the highly detailed provisions of the Act, both because these elaborate and casuistic provisions drafted by highly sophisticated lawyers for competing interest groups leave little room for interpretation, and because the interest groups swiftly secure highly explicit amendments to overcome unfavorable interpretations.


Secondary Transmission TRIPs Agreement Copyright Owner Copyright Holder Section 106A 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of IllinoisIllinoisUS

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