Reverse Engineering IP


This Article asserts that copyright reform initiatives should "sample" (that is, borrow from) patent policies that protect access for further innovation to "remix" (that is, inform and reform) copyright law for the same end in the creative context. Throughout the Article, I use appropriation art to illustrate how an established cumulative medium of artistic creation is negatively impacted by overly restrictive copyright laws and may benefit from patent policies seemingly better suited to encourage and support such creative innovation.

Copyright has already borrowed from its constitutional cousin in creating a misuse doctrine, for example." I assert other patent policies and practices are ripe for the borrowing. Patent policy, despite its own problems to be sure, still presents a more robust, well-defined, and generally more efficient system of incentives to create.' 2 This approach both empowers creators to access and make use of existing works for certain purposes and at the same time still protects rights holders in a way that honors the constitutional directive to secure certain exclusive rights. Such an approach is particularly vital for traditionally collaborative and cumulative creative mediums that produce musical, dramatic, and audiovisual works. Accordingly, patent policy should be "sampled" to "remix" copyright.

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Journal Title

Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review

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