The Overall Goal

Pamela Samuelson, on how the primary goal of copyright law is focused more on consumer protection than authors’ rights.

Copyright law is written in such a way that suggests copyright is a grant of rights to authors, rewarding them with the commercial advantages of producing original work. However, upon closer examination, consumers who want to build on existing works of authorship also have rights that are protected.

Pamela Samuelson is the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California at Berkeley. She is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyber law and information policy. She recently visited UW Law to give the 2022 Toni Rembe lecture on copyright law and consumer protection.

In this final episode of Season Four, Professor Samuelson, also the co-founder and chair of the Authors Alliance, shares how the primary goal of copyright law is to induce people to write and disseminate creative work so the public has access to knowledge. Many people might be surprised that rewards to the author is actually a secondary consideration in the overall goal of copyright law.

Overcast icon SoundCloud icon Google Podcasts icon Podcasts icon Spotify icon RSS icon