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Hollywood's Copyright Wars

Hollywood's Copyright Wars
Copyright Wars

Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA, 90028


From Thomas Edison’s aggressive copyright disputes to recent lawsuits against video-sharing websites, the motion picture industry has always struggled to influence and adapt to copyright law.

Academy Film Scholar Peter Decherney, author of the new book Hollywood’s Copyright Wars, framed the current debate about technology and intellectual property in historical and political terms, discussing such issues as piracy, plagiarism, Hollywood’s love-hate relationship with fair use, and how the industry has responded to its intellectual property issues through self-regulation.

Decherney, who was named an Academy Film Scholar in 2009, is associate professor of cinema studies, English and communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American (2005) and many articles on the film industry, including an October 2011 New York Times op-ed piece titled "Will Copyright Stifle Hollywood?"

The Academy Film Scholars program was established in 1999 to stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship. To learn more, visit the Education & Outreach section of