Chapter 17

Antitrust laws: Keeping Competition Alive


Here is the dilemma. Copyright law grants to authors certain exclusive rights regarding their writings. Trademark law grants to owners the exclusive right to use a word or phrase in commerce. Both these bodies of law are premised on the notion that, by granting these exclusive rights—monopolies, if you will—individuals and businesses will be given the incentive to create and those creations will be good for the overall health and vitality of our economic system. But consumers can suffer when competition is restrained, when there is only one source for commodities. Hence, antitrust laws govern fair competition and are relevant to our understanding of content rights.

The antitrust laws are ...

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