Talk:Traditional safety valves

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copyright's limited term?[edit]

In response to one of the comments in the {{expert}} tag at the top of the article: The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1988 has reduced "copyright's limited term" to a dead letter as a "safety valve." (talk) 16:15, 8 September 2012 (UTC)


There is a {{dubious}} template that links to a "CTEA" section, but the section didn't exist until I created it just now. Discussion may continue here on whether copyright in the United States is adequately "limited" given the practical implementation of the CTEA. --SoledadKabocha (talk) 00:11, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

While the CTEA does extend the copyright term, it is nevertheless still limited. I have therefore removed the template. SBareSSomErMig (talk) 14:23, 5 March 2017 (UTC)


The article both complains about there being three valves, and now mentions four.  :(

Three valves (all but first sale) are noted in, Does Copyright Abridge the First Amendment Guarantees of Free Speech and Press? by Melville Nimmer from the 1970 UCLA Law Review.

Commenting on the above, Neil W. Netanel writes in Locating Copyright Within the First Amendment Skein in the 2001 Stanford Law Review, "Today, copyright law’s primary internal safety valves—the idea/expression dichotomy, fair use privilege, and limited term—provide far weaker constraints on copyright holder prerogatives than they did in 1970", (p.12) and cannot "substitute for First Amendment scrutiny" (p. 40)

I think this is worth quoting directly thus:

"[T]oday’s market-centered copyright doctrine, with its palsied traditional safety valves, intolerably exacerbates the danger of self-censorship. As in many other areas, the First Amendment must impose [judge-made prophylactic] rules that might well exceed the requirements of the “real” First Amendment... in order to ensure that free speech is adequately protected." (p. 85)

Anyone want to do some cleanup and or work this stuff into a historical narrative?--Elvey (talk) 20:55, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

It would seem the main barrier to doing that would be the lack of reference to the article's subject, historical or otherwise. Conflicting mentions of different numbers of rhetorical 'safety valves' aside, is the specific term 'traditional safety valve' something that has been used by anyone besides this article's original author? In the source cited for the definition (a 'Free Expression Policy Project Report'), "free expression safety valves" are called 'traditional' only incidentally:

The media industry responded by creating digital rights management(“DRM”) techniques, pressing for legislation to give those techniques the force of law, and intensifying its efforts to strengthen control over the use of its products at the expense of vital “free expression safety valves” within copyright law. These traditional safety valves balance the public’s interest in open access with the property interests of copyright owners. -Kranich, Nancy (June 2004). Heins, Marjorie, ed. "The Information Commons: A Public Policy Report"

If that sentence is the sole precedent, this term should not be coined by Wikipedia, nor be listed alongside rigorously defined subjects used in Copyright law such as Orphan Works and Public domain. Even without the 'traditional' modifier, these copyright safety valves seem more related to Philosophy of copyright than law, as they deal more with the 'why' than the 'how'. Perhaps the removed 'expert' tag was not effectively written, but it was warranted. --AveVeritas (talk) 03:08, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
The article seems to be a good candidate for deletion. --Edcolins (talk) 20:52, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't say deletion, but it's not a great title. The subject matter of this article is really "limitations on U.S. copyright law", and that, or something like it, would be a better title. The "safety valves" is a common metaphor, but hardly the common name for this subject. It makes sense as a redirect name, in case anyone coming across the phrase would search for it. TJRC (talk) 16:07, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
There is already an article called Limitations and exceptions to copyright, which is a much more common phrase in IP scholarship. That phrase typically includes fair use and some people consider it to include first sale, public domain, and idea-expression distinction. Limitations_and_exceptions_to_copyright#National_laws briefly discusses whether it's proper to refer to the public domain and the idea-expression distinction as exceptions and limitations or if they're at the heart of the law itself. For this reason, it doesn't seem appropriate to me to merge the small amount of content about each of these doctrines onto that page.
Similarly, each of the "safety valves" mentioned in this article (currently that's First-sale doctrine, Public domain, Fair use, and Idea–expression divide) also has its own longer article. However, I don't see much point in trying to merge this article into those four.
Thus, I propose blanking-and-redirecting the page to Limitations and exceptions to copyright. It has also made its way into Template:Intellectual_property, so it would need to be removed from there as well. I'll post at Template_talk:Intellectual_property about that now. PacificWonderland (talk) 23:49, 18 November 2015 (UTC)