Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Shan Sivalingam


This Article analyzes the implications of the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Faulkner v. National Geographic Enterprises Inc. The court interpreted § 201(c) of the federal Copyright Act to permit National Geographic to compile print issues of its magazine into a CD-ROM digital archive without explicit permission from freelance authors who contributed to the print issues. The court’s decision has raised concern among freelance journalists and photographers who contribute works to newspapers and other periodicals that compile copyrighted works. This Article outlines significant features of the Faulkner decision and analyzes it within a larger framework of cases that have dealt with electronic reproductions of collective works. The Article concludes that while the Faulkner decision is in accord with the interpretation of § 201(c) that the United States Supreme Court set forth in New York Times Co. v. Tasini, the decision weakens the control of freelance contributors over their copyrighted works.

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