If It’s Broke, Fix It: Fixing Fixation

Carpenter, Megan M.

The fixation requirement, once an intended instrument for added flexibility in copyrightability, has become an unworkable standard under modern copyright law. The last twenty-five years have witnessed a dramatic expansion in creative media. Developments in both digital media and contemporary art have challenged what it means to be fixed, and cases dealing with these works reveal how inapposite current interpretations of fixation are for these forms of expression. Yet, getting fixation “right” is important, for it is often the juridical threshold over which idea becomes expression. Thus, we must enable fixation to help define the parameters of creative expression while not discriminating against dynamic and digital works.


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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November 21, 2016