Amy Gilbert


Due to its unintended negative effects on authors, the industry, and society and, as a result, its failure to accomplish the purpose of having such a provision in the first place, this Note argues that Section 203 should be revised. The proposed solution limits the broad language that makes the statute inalienable to situations in which the purpose of the provision would be furthered and narrows the statute’s far too expansive notice requirements. This revision takes into account the nature of the industry in terms of risks and the recent technological developments by upholding the ideals of freedom of contract and attempting to cure the various issues surrounding anticipatory termination. Part I of this Note provides an overview of how the copyright-based industry operates today through an economic analysis of the mechanics that drive this area of the market. Part II examines the current copyright law governing termination, including Section 203’s key elements, the intent behind the provision, its exceptions and limitations, and how an effective termination would occur. Part III discusses some realistic scenarios and the negative implications the provision may have in these common situations. And finally, Part IV suggests a revision to Section 203 that reflects these practical considerations.

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