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Copyrights That No One Knows About Don’t Help Anyone

Publication Date: 
May 31, 2007
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Hal R. Varian

"The New York Times" references Professor Lawrence Lessig in a story about proposals to improve copyright law and simplify efforts to digitize existing works:

...Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University Law professor who is an expert in copyright law...favors a system where authors receive an automatic copyright when they create new works, but they must register their copyright within 14 years to retain it past the initial period. (Unfortunately, such a registration requirement cannot apply to foreign creators because of international copyright treaties.)

...Mr. Lessig envisions the Copyright Office as specifying the standards for registries but not necessarily operating them, since the private sector may be better positioned to build and maintain such systems. His inspiration is the domain name system used to register Internet sites. In that system, a standards body specifies the design, but it is up to individual organizations to carry out the necessary registries.