Catholic University Law Review


Amanda Reid


At its core, copyright is an innovation policy, a competition policy, and a free expression policy. Copyright seeks to balance incentivizing a public good with providing a private interest. Copyright’s purpose to catalyze creative expression and innovation is canonical; creativity and innovation are synergetic. Copyright is a means of promoting progress; copyright is not an end in itself. Much like freedom of expression and new innovations are not ends in themselves, copyright protection is not for its own sake. Freedom of expression is often heralded as a means of fostering democratic self-governance, truth, and happiness. Innovation is seen as a means of fostering economic growth, prosperity, development, and happiness. Similarly, copyright is a means of fostering human progress and enriching the public domain from which others can freely draw. The ultimate beneficiary of copyright policy should be the public interest. This Article offers a broad-minded assessment of copyright policy’s effects on innovation and free expression before offering some sensible areas for reform.