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September 28, 2005
The Pizzaright Principle
Edward Felten, proposing a "Pizzaright Principle" litmus test for determining whether or not expansionist proposals to create new intellectual property rights make sense:
Lately, lots of bogus arguments for copyright expansion have been floating around. A handy detector for bogus arguments is the Pizzaright Principle.
Suppose that Bob argues that the profitability of broadcasting may be about to decrease, so broadcasters should be given new intellectual property rights. He could equally well argue that if the pizza business has become less profitable, a pizzaright should be created.
(The flaw in Bob's argument was the failure to show that the new right furthers the interests of society as a whole, as opposed to the narrow interests of the broadcasters or pizzamakers.)
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