News & Information

A Debate about Copyright Laws in the Internet Age

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Dec 7, 2018 10:00 pm
  • 52:11

Guests: Sean Pager, Professor of Law, Michigan State University; Rick Carnes, President of the Songwriters Guild of America; Aaron Perzanowski, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University; Kirby Ferguson, Filmmaker, Everything is a Remix The idea of owning your work is embedded in the Constitution. The nation’s founders gave Congress the ability to write laws that would give "authors and inventors exclusive right to their writings and discoveries" for a "limited time." In the case of patents – say for a cool new toy or a drug to treat cancer - that exclusive right lasts for 20 years. If you come up with a new way of expressing idea – say in a book, a painting or a song – you get a copyright, instead of a patent. And that copyright lasts for the rest of your life, plus 70 years. Today there are ways to create and share work the founders couldn’t have dreamed of. And while copyright laws have been updated over time, the internet has us wondering in a serious way whether they strike the right balance.