Addressing the Reprographic Revolution: Compensating Copyright Owners for Mass Infringement

This Article addresses the unique problems created by the reprographic revolution. Part I discusses recent legislative attempts to relieve the strain placed on existing copyright law by developing reprographic technologies. Using the recent Betamax case as an example, part II criticizes judicial efforts to apply traditional copyright doctrine to issues involving reprographic technologies. Finally, part III proposes a framework for devising, an enforcement scheme to protect copyright holders’ rights without denying the public the many benefits offered by reprographic technologies. The Article outlines an approach tailored to meet the special problems associated with each of the three basic reprographic technologies: the audiorecorder, videocassette recorder (“VCR”), and photocopier. Drawing from the experiences of other industrialized countries, the Article recommends the adoption of varying excise tax schemes aimed at the apparent sources of infringement – reprographic equipment and associated software.