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Reed v. Town of Gilbert: A Court United, a Court Divided

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The 2015 Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, is unusual. While it was unanimously decided in a 9-0 opinion, the majority opinion created a lot of divisiveness within the Court. This thesis examines how a court that unanimously

The 2015 Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, is unusual. While it was unanimously decided in a 9-0 opinion, the majority opinion created a lot of divisiveness within the Court. This thesis examines how a court that unanimously decided on the outcome of the case contains concurring opinions that so strongly disagree with the specifics put forth in the Opinion of the Court, and what implications that might have on future content discrimination laws. Such implications include whether the Court will take a more functional or literal approach to strict scrutiny examination and content regulation.

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2016-12

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Intellectual property is not property: copyright and the culture of owning a myth

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The purpose of this study is to explore the shifting cultural norms of copyright law, and that concept’s impact on the performance and practice of artists producing original works of authorship. Although related concepts predate it, and today it exists

The purpose of this study is to explore the shifting cultural norms of copyright law, and that concept’s impact on the performance and practice of artists producing original works of authorship. Although related concepts predate it, and today it exists as a subset of a broader category known as intellectual property, the purpose of copyright beginning with the United States Constitution was to allow for a temporary economic monopoly to an author of a fixed creative work. This monopoly was meant to incentivize authors to contribute to the public good with works that promote progress in science and art. However, increases over time in the scope and duration of copyright terms grant broader protections and controls for copyright owners today, while advances in technology have provided the public with the potential for near-limitless low-cost access to information. This creates a conflict between proprietary interest in creative works and the public’s right and ability to access and build on those works. The history of copyright law in America is rife with efforts to balance these competing interests.

The methodology for this study consisted of flexible strategies for collecting and analyzing data, primarily elite, semi-structured interviews with professional artists, attorneys, and others who engage with the cultural and legal norms of intellectual property regimes on a regular basis. Constant comparative analysis was used to maintain an emic perspective, prioritizing the subjective experience of individuals interviewed for this research project. Additional methods for qualitative analysis were also employed here to code and categorize gathered data, including the use of RQDA, a software package for Qualitative Data Analysis that runs within the R statistical software program. Various patterns and behaviors relevant to intellectual property reforms as they relate to artist practices were discussed in detail following the analysis of findings, in an effort to describe how cultural norms of copyright intersect with the creation of original works of authorship, and towards the development of the theory that the semiotic sign systems subject to intellectual property laws are not themselves forms of real property, as they do not meet the categorical requirements of scarce resources.

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2018