"Copyright Fee Shifting: A Proposal to Promote Fair Use and Fair Licensing"

Peter S. Menell and Ben Depoorter have self-archived "Copyright Fee Shifting: A Proposal to Promote Fair Use and Fair Licensing" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

In this Article we propose a novel mechanism that would afford a limited, cost-effective process for pre-clearing works, promote fair negotiation over cumulative uses of copyrighted works, and reduce the exposure of cumulative creators from the inherent risks of relying on copyright's de minimis and/or fair use doctrine. Under this mechanism, a cumulative creator has authority to make a formal offer of settlement to use copyrighted material for a project. If the copyright owner does not respond to the offer, the cumulative creator would be permitted to use the work provisionally by paying the settlement amount into escrow. If the copyright owner rejects the proposed license fee and sues for infringement, the copyright owner will bear the cumulative creator's litigation costs (1) if the court determines that the use of the material qualifies as fair use or (2) if the court determines that the fair use doctrine did not excuse the use but where the cumulative creator's offer of settlement (the proposed license fee) exceeded the amount of damages that the court determines to be appropriate. In the former case, the escrow amount is returned to the cumulative creator. In the latter case, the copyright owner receives the infringement award from the escrow account and the remainder returns to the cumulative creator.

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