Subotnik Presents Paper at University of Kentucky College of Law

On Friday November 18th, Professor Eva Subotnik presented her paper, “Free as the Heir?: Copyright Successors and Stewardship,” as part of the University of Kentucky College of Law’s faculty workshop series in Lexington, KY. Here is the abstract:


Eva Subotnik

To what extent should copyright law be concerned with facilitating artistic legacy? While the heavy machinery of the copyright regime may have been established to promote the creativity of authors, the reality is that works of authorship will be tended to and exploited by others. In the case of the most valuable works, this may happen during the author’s life. But in all cases, this will happen long after the author’s death but before the works enter the public domain. This article focuses on the role of an author’s post-death successors in shaping the legacy of the author’s body of work. To that end, it considers the different functions these successors play, and the competing expectations about what they should accomplish. By way of comparison it considers similar functions performed by successors to tangible property assets. In the end, it argues that we should re-conceptualize copyright successors as stewards of these peculiar interests.

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