Duquesne Law Review


Performance of a copyrighted work may subject the performer to an infringement action if a license is not obtained for the performance. Not all performances of copyrighted material require the obtaining of a license, however. The Copyright Act of 1976 has set forth exceptions and limitations to the licensure requirement in order to satisfy the dual tension which is inherently present in copyright law: encouraging and rewarding an author's creative labor, and promoting broad public availability of the artist's works. This comment traces the historical development of the meaning and application of "performance" under the copyright acts, placing special emphasis upon the exemption provided in section 110(5) of the Copyright Act of 1976. The author proposes a revision of this exemption provision due to its incompatibility with the purposes of the Copyright Act.

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