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February 2, 2005
The Hegemony of the Copyright Treatise
It's not only groups like BSA and NAB that make myopic arguments for copyright law that suits their interests. As copyright guru Ann Bartow points out in a forthcoming paper, the authors of copyright treatises also have biases -- only they're not obligated to reveal them:
Policy makers no doubt understand that content owners and interest groups propose self-serving agendas, and courts are well aware that the parties to litigation all want to prevail when they advocate for particular legal conclusions. A copyright treatise editor could similarly have an economic interest in promoting particular interpretations of the law over others, but has no obligation to disclose this. ...This Article...recommends an alternative approach to charting and cataloging developments in copyright law, the establishment and maintenance of a Restatement patterned after those promulgated by the American Law Institute in common law subject areas.
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