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Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Copyright

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Abandoning Copyright, Dave Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2020

Abandoning Copyright, Dave Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

For nearly two hundred years, U.S. copyright law has assumed that owners may voluntarily abandon their rights in a work. But scholars have largely ignored copyright abandonment, and the case law is fragmented and inconsistent. As a result, abandonment remains poorly theorized, owners can avail themselves of no reliable mechanism to abandon their works, and the practice remains rare. This Article seeks to bring copyright abandonment out of the shadows, showing that it is a doctrine rich in conceptual, normative, and practical significance. Unlike abandonment of real and chattel property, which imposes significant public costs in exchange for discrete ...


Clown Eggs, David Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2019

Clown Eggs, David Fagundes, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

Since 1946, many clowns have recorded their makeup by having it painted on eggs that are kept in a central registry in Wookey Hole, England. This tradition, which continues today, has been referred to alternately as a form of informal copyright registration and a means of protecting clowns’ property in their personae. This Article explores the Clown Egg Register and its sur- rounding practices from the perspective of law and social norms. In so doing, it makes several contributions. First, it contributes another chapter to the growing literature on the norms-based governance of intellectual property, showing how clowns—like comedians ...


The Limits Of Copyright Office Expertise, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2018

The Limits Of Copyright Office Expertise, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

The mismatch between the expanding administrative and regulatory obligations of the United States Copyright Office and its limited institutional expertise is an emerging problem for the copyright system. The Office’s chief responsibility—registration and recordation of copyright claims—has taken a back seat in recent years to a more ambitious set of substantive rulemakings and policy recommendations. As the triennial rulemaking under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act highlights, the Office is frequently called upon to answer technological questions far beyond its plausible claims of subject matter expertise. This Article traces the Office’s history, identifies its substantial but discrete ...


The First Amendment Implications Of Copyright's Double Standard, Raymond Shih Ray Ku Jan 2018

The First Amendment Implications Of Copyright's Double Standard, Raymond Shih Ray Ku

Faculty Publications

Beginning with a simple question, “What’s the big deal? It’s just entertainment,” this Article argues that copyright law restricts more than just entertainment - it restricts freedom of artistic expression. Despite copyright’s facial neutrality, courts have interpreted otherwise neutral rules to subject authors to a double standard for expression. Through a series of doctrinal contradictions and hypocrisies, copyright singles out “just entertainment,” imposing greater restrictions upon the freedom of those authors relative to all other authors. By discriminating against “entertainment,” the current doctrine violates its own fundamental tenet of non-discrimination. Moreover, by selectively restricting how authors may choose ...


Rethinking Patent Law’S Uniformity Principle, Craig Allen Nard, John F. Duffy Jan 2007

Rethinking Patent Law’S Uniformity Principle, Craig Allen Nard, John F. Duffy

Faculty Publications

Modern law on expert testimony insists, as a condition of admissibility, that the asserted expertise be determined by the trial judge to be reliable. Reliability is usually characterized as a dichotomous attribute of evidence, as if expertise were either reliable or unreliable. This article argues that making progress in the development of meaningful and appropriate restrictions on the admissibility of expert testimony requires that we abandon this conceptualization and understand the implications of endorsing a gradational notion of reliability in which evidence can be more or less reliable and in which a comparative assessment of reliability is prominent. Consistent with ...


Promoting Diverse Cultural Expression: Lessons From The U.S. Copyright Wars, Raymond Shih Ray Ku Jan 2007

Promoting Diverse Cultural Expression: Lessons From The U.S. Copyright Wars, Raymond Shih Ray Ku

Faculty Publications

In 2007, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression (CCD) with the goal of creating an environment that encourages individuals and social groups to create, distribute, and have access to diverse cultural expression from their own cultural and from cultures around the world. With regard to domestic and international efforts to implement the CCD and reconcile its goals with other international norms, the author argues that valuable lessons can be learned from current trends and issues in U.S. copyright law. Specifically, the author argues that the current debate over ...


The Penumbral Public Domain: Constitutional Limits On Quasi-Copyright Legislation, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2006

The Penumbral Public Domain: Constitutional Limits On Quasi-Copyright Legislation, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

This Article attempts to reconcile the breadth of the modern Commerce Clause with the notion of meaningful and enforceable limits on Congress' copyright authority under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8.

The Article aims to achieve two objectives. First, it seeks to outline a general approach to identifying and resolving inter-clause conflicts, sketching a methodology that has been lacking in the courts' sparse treatment of such conflicts. Second, it applies that general framework to the copyright power in order to outline the scope of constitutional prohibitions against quasi-copyright protections. In particular, this application focuses on the federal anti-bootlegging statutes and ...


The Magnificence Of The Disaster: Reconstructing The Sony Bmg Rootkit Incident, Deirdre Mulligan, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2006

The Magnificence Of The Disaster: Reconstructing The Sony Bmg Rootkit Incident, Deirdre Mulligan, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

Late in 2005, Sony BMG released millions of Compact Discs containing digital rights management technologies that threatened the security of its customers' computers and the integrity of the information infrastructure more broadly. This Article aims to identify the market, technological, and legal factors that appear to have led a presumably rational actor toward a strategy that in retrospect appears obviously and fundamentally misguided.

The Article first addresses the market-based rationales that likely influenced Sony BMG's deployment of these DRM systems and reveals that even the most charitable interpretation of Sony BMG's internal strategizing demonstrates a failure to adequately ...


Copyright Lochnerism, Raymond Shih Ray Ku Jan 2006

Copyright Lochnerism, Raymond Shih Ray Ku

Faculty Publications

Part I of this essay outlines the conflict between copyright and the First amendment as well as, the complementary argument for reconciling copyright and free speech, as it has been formulated by scholars and the Supreme Court. Part II discusses what I have referred to as the Framers' copyright and the extent to which arguments based upon the Framers' intent in this area may reconcile copyright and free speech. Lastly, Part III argues that reliance upon the complementary argument to deny any role for heightened First Amendment review in copyright cases is subject to two interrelated criticisms of Lochner. By ...