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Copyright Law

Spring Semester 2009 WEEK 1 CLASS 1 Introduction to Copyright Law

The Universe of Copyright an Introduction


What is Copyright?

- Like other intellectual property rights (IPRs), copyright is a bundle of exclusive rights (in the form of private property) to intellectual creations, usually for a limited period of time - Traditional IPRs: copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrets/confidential information - Newer forms: semiconductor chips (mask works), geographical indications (G.I.)

Types of Exclusive Rights available in Copyright:

- Authors Rights & Related Rights - Economic Rights & Moral Rights International Copyright Standards - 1886 Berne Convention (last amended 1971) - Berne Convention adopted in 1984 WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) - TRIPS implemented into domestic US law in 1989 - further updated by the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty & WIPO Performances & Phonograms Treaty (the WIPO Internet Treaties)

Why have copyright?


The WHAT: legal grant of exclusive rights in the

form of private (intangible) property - allows copyright owner to control access & use of the copyrighted work (who, when, how and for much) The WHY: Economic/utilitarian or moral/natural rights? Which theory underpins US copyright law? ART. 1 SEC. 8 CL. 8: The Congress shall have PowerTo promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Tmes to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. What other theories/rationales can be used to justify copyright protection?

Will (should) copyright law protect these examples?


A book (or song) title A cake recipe Your notes from this class (exam outlines!) A novel based on the life of a historical

person A movie based on the novel A tourists poor photograph of a scenic view A professional photograph of the same view An artists copy of the tourists photograph An improvised dance performance A CD recording of a song

What about these?


A Harry Potter fan compiles & edits a

Lexicon/Encyclopedic web guide to the Harry Potter world. He receives a publishing offer to turn the website into a book for commercial sale. - Rowling v RDR Books (2008) A rap band rewrites and records a parody version (different words & rhythm) of a popular song; a novelist writes a fictional sequel to a best-selling novel - Campbell v Acuff-Rose (1994); Suntrust Bank v Houghton Mifflin (2001) A fictional novel is remarkably similar to an earlier book putting forward a new Christian theory based on historical research

What copyright issues arise in the following scenario?


A writes the lyrics for a song; B composes the music.

C records the song (sings & performs) on CD. D purchases the CD and rips (copies) the song to her computer hard drive. D then shares the song with other Internet users through peer-to-peer file-sharing software. E downloads the song from Ds computer using the same peer-to-peer file-sharing software program. E then uploads the song to a website that hosts user content. F is the website in question.