Book Event on Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good

May 09, 2014May 10, 2014
Rayburn House Office Building B-339

Event Speakers

Tom W. Bell

Professor of Law, Chapman University Fowler School of Law

Free and prosperous societies respect property rights. But do copyrights really qualify for the same respect afforded to houses, cars, and computers?  Recent legislative trends suggest that lawmakers have been misled by the rhetoric of property to make copyright more and more powerful.  This trend has thrown public policy out of balance, discouraged innovation, and harmed consumers.  Rather than a form of property, lawmakers should regard copyrights as government-granted privileges that threaten our natural and common law rights and that, when taken too far, make worthy targets for reform.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University invites you to attend a Capitol Hill Campus in conjunction with the release of a new book, Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good, written by Professor Tom W. Bell and published by the Mercatus Center.

This presentation will:

  • Explore key ideas to keep in mind when considering changes to the 1976 Copyright Act;
  • Explain how the Founders and authors of the Constitution regarded copyrights; and
  • Discuss how regarding copyright as a privilege rather than a form of property can improve public policy.

Space is limited. Please register online for this event.

This event is free and open to all congressional and federal agency staff. This event is not open to the general public. Food will be provided. Due to space constraints, please no interns. Questions? Please contact Caitlyn Van Orden, Event Associate, at or (703) 993-4925.

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