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The buzzword for the new millennium is “innovation,” and the issue in entertainment law is how to protect the entertainment products and services created by such innovation. What are the policy considerations? Is legal protection a necessary offshoot of the natural law so that the proprietor is entitled to full title and rights. Or is protection no more than an easement from the public domain, so that the proprietor must expect corollary access rights from the public as well as a limited duration.

This article concerns the handling of “new uses” and, then, as a separate topic, the effect of enhanced protection of intellectual property on the public domain. Entertainment lawyers consider that nothing should be in the public domain. But such overprotection may make legitimate the public assent to piracy. This article could be a wake-up call!

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