The Idea Expression Dichotomy

1744 WordsJan 23, 20177 Pages
Uncertainty in the Implementation of the Idea-Expression Dichotomy It is common ground in copyright law that the idea-expression dichotomy has long been applied as a basic principle. It provided that copyright protection only fixed on the expression of the idea, but not on the idea as such. No copyright infringement will be found if no expression but idea or method or system is copied. While the idea-expression dichotomy had been repeatedly expressed in case-law, it is remained to be a vaguely defined concept. Criticism arise that the idea-expression dichotomy is not a meaningful tool to resolve copyright disputes. For judges need a clear guidance in deciding the infringement and so as authors do in order to avoid copyright…show more content…
Allowing the idea taking ‘transformative use’ of work is on the purpose of enhancing freedom of information spreading and preventing idea monopoly, which would eventually benefit to the public domain. It is not an ‘all or nothing’ decision to implement the copyright infringement determination. In contrast, there are no clear guidance to be follow in judging, inter alia, the transformative use where it is difficult to draw a line between idea and expression. Instead, instinct is being used to assist the separation. Judges have to analyse the individual facts by using their own value and backgrounds to determine the infringement, which lead to an unstable environment for the running of the infringement determination function. The overall approach of the idea-expression dichotomy may be harder to be reached. For the variation of the judgement may give no confidence for authors to do the transformative use of copyright works. In the US, doctrine of merger and scènes à faire are introduced as techniques to make the distinction. In accordance to the doctrine of merger, the copyright protection would not extent to such work expressing an idea that can only be expressed in one way, otherwise there would be a monopoly on the idea. It is concluded that the expression ‘merges’ with the idea under such circumstance and
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