In two of my earlier entries in this series, I discussed the results of an empirical study of copyright cases that I have been doing with my colleague Chris Cotropia. One of those entries focused on how hard the parties in copyright lawsuits fightagainst each other, and the other focused on the role of major media companies in copyright litigation.

In this entry, I will continue to talk about the parties that we observed in our study, but instead of discussing major media companies, I will concentrate on the other end of the spectrum: the individual as a party. This is an important topic, because sometimes copyright law and copyright lawmakers romanticize the individual; they envision authorship as a solitary pursuit, with copyright as the mechanism that keeps artists from becoming starving artists. On the other hand, copyright law sometimes demonizes the individual, accusing legions of file-sharers and mash-up artists of free-riding on the hard work of the truly creative. [...]

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