Retelling Copyright: The Contributions of the Restatement of Copyright Law
The provisions at issue in the draft Restatement of Copyright Law on which ALI membership will vote at ALI’s upcoming annual meeting are central to copyright doctrine and have been the subject of numerous court decisions over the past several decades of technological and industry change: originality, fixation, categories of copyrightable subject matter, the idea-expression distinction, and authorship and ownership. This abundance of legal activity on copyright law demonstrates the value to the profession of this project retelling copyright. In contrast to the dramatic criticism of this Restatement project alleging political capture or illegitimate law reform, the draft’s provisions are routine and straightforward. They will surprise no one and are almost boring in their adherence to and synthesis of the copyright statute and judicial interpretations of it. Far from being radical or ill-advised, the Restatement of Copyright Law is a reasonable and welcome addition to the work of the ALI.