Copyright Law's Broken Rear Window: An Appraisal of Damage and Estimate of Repair

Daniel A. Saunders
1992 California Law Review  
Few Supreme Court cases have engendered as much concern and debate within the entertainment industry as Stewart v. Abend. That decision determined the relative rights of holders of copyrights in derivative motion pictures and in the source material on which those films are based. Industry insiders have predicted that the decision will significantly change the way business is conducted and may result in temporary or permanent withdrawal of countless classic motion pictures from distribution.
more » ... m distribution. This Comment begins by arguing that the legal foundations of the Stewart opinion are questionable in light of the relevant copyright statutes and precedents. It then argues the failure of the decision from a policy perspective and contends that the decision is inconsistent both with the goals of copyright protection as set forth in the Constitution and with the realities of motion picture production. Having presented the case for congressional intervention, the Comment proposes remedial legislation and evaluates arguments that the legislation would violate the Due Process and Takings
doi:10.2307/3480818 fatcat:rz2ukoggwrarzjtsghwdei24uu