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Full-Text Articles in Law

We Need To Talk About Aereo: Copyright-Avoiding Business Models, Cloud Storage And A Principled Reading Of The "Transmit" Clause, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

We Need To Talk About Aereo: Copyright-Avoiding Business Models, Cloud Storage And A Principled Reading Of The "Transmit" Clause, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Businesses are exploiting perceived gaps in the structure of copyright rights by ingeniously designing their technologies to fulfill demand for individual access through a structure of personalized copies and playback engineered in ways intended to implicate neither the public performance nor the reproduction rights. The archetypal example is Aereo Inc.’s system for providing online access to broadcast television. Aereo allows users to tune into individual antennae to stream TV to themselves, near-live, online. Aereo’s activities look a lot like the retransmission of broadcast signals, an activity which Congress has made very clear must result in remuneration for rightholders ...


Property And The Right To Exclude Ii, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2014

Property And The Right To Exclude Ii, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

In 1998 I published a short essay entitled Property and the Right to Exclude. It appeared in an issue of the Nebraska Law Review honoring Lawrence Berger, a long-time property professor at Nebraska. The essay has been rather widely cited, but I have my doubts as to whether it has been widely read. A review of citations in Westlaw suggests that the essay is commonly identified as arguing that the right to exclude is the "sine qua non" of property, a statement that appears in the opening paragraph. The typical citing author takes this to mean that the essay argues ...


Why Restate The Bundle? The Disintegration Of The Restatement Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2014

Why Restate The Bundle? The Disintegration Of The Restatement Of Property, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

The American Law Institute (ALI) has devoted a great deal of time and energy to restating the law of property. To date, the ALI has produced 17 volumes that bear the name First, Second, or Third Restatement of Property. There is unquestionably much that is valuable in these materials. On the whole, however, the effort has been a disappointment. Some volumes seek faithfully to restate the consensus view of the law; others are transparently devoted to law reform. The ratio of reform to restatement has increased over time, to the point where significant portions of the Third Restatement consist of ...


Fair Use For Free, Or Permitted-But-Paid?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Fair Use For Free, Or Permitted-But-Paid?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court in Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios fended a fork in the fair use road. The Court there upset the longstanding expectation that uses would rarely, if ever, be fair when the whole of a work was copied. In the aftermath of that decision, lower courts have rendered a plethora of decisions deeming the copying of an entire work (even with no additional authorship contribution) a fair use, and therefore "free" in both senses of the word. A perceived social benefit or some market failure appears to motivate these decisions. This is because ...


The Idiosyncrasy Of Patent Examiners: Effects Of Experience And Attrition, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2014

The Idiosyncrasy Of Patent Examiners: Effects Of Experience And Attrition, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, problems with the U.S. patent system have garnered attention from scholars and policymakers of all types. Concerns about the competitiveness of U.S. industry undergird worries that the Great Recession will linger as long as the 1990s downturn in Japan. It is no coincidence that a Congress that has remained at loggerheads on most aspects of economic policy could reach a consensus on the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011, by far the most important statutory reform of U.S. patent law since 1995. Yet, despite Congress's long overdue attention to patent ...


Intellectual Property Experimentalism By Way Of Competition Law, Tim Wu Jan 2014

Intellectual Property Experimentalism By Way Of Competition Law, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Competition law and Intellectual Property have divergent intellectual cultures – the former more pragmatic and experimentalist; the latter influenced by natural law and vested rights. The US Supreme Court decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis is an intellectual victory for the former approach, one that suggests that antitrust law can and should be used to introduce greater scrutiny of the specific consequences of intellectual property grants.


Fair Use For Free, Or Permitted-But-Paid?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Fair Use For Free, Or Permitted-But-Paid?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Fair use is an on/off switch: Either the challenged use is an infringement of copyright, or it is a fair use, which Section 107 declares "is not an infringement of copyright." As a result, either the copyright owner can stop the use, or the user not only is dispensed from obtaining permission, but also owes no compensation for the use. The unpaid nature of fair use introduces pressures that may distort analysis, particularly of the "transformative" character of the use, and of potential market harm. Faced with a use, particularly in the context of new technologies, that a court ...


We (Still) Need To Talk About Aereo: New Controversies And Unresolved Questions After The Supreme Court's Decision, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

We (Still) Need To Talk About Aereo: New Controversies And Unresolved Questions After The Supreme Court's Decision, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Recent judicial interpretations of U.S. copyright law have prompted businesses to design technologies in ways that enable the making and transmission of copies of works to consumers while falling outside the scope of the owner's exclusive rights. The archetypal example is Aereo Inc.'s system for providing online access to broadcast television, which the Supreme Court has now ruled results in infringing public performances by Aereo.

In previous work we urged the Court to develop a principled reading of the transmit clause focusing on the particular use rather than on the technical architecture of the delivery service (Giblin ...


Asking The Right Questions In Copyright Cases: Lessons From Aereo And Its International Brethren, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Asking The Right Questions In Copyright Cases: Lessons From Aereo And Its International Brethren, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Aereo was a US-based service that made unique copies of broadcast programs from individual antennae for each requesting user, for individual retransmission near-live or at some point in the future. To the uninitiated, it makes no sense for a company to design a television transmission service that utilises thousands of tiny antennae and thousands of copies to deliver signals to users. Wouldn’t it be much more efficient to use just one of each? And surely, when it comes to copyright liability, wouldn’t more copies result in more infringement, not less? However, Aereo’s strategy made a lot of ...


Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part I (Making Available Right), Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part I (Making Available Right), Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This Letter from the U.S. addresses U.S. compliance with its international obligation to implement the “making available right” set out in art. 8 of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty. The “umbrella solution” which enabled member states to protect the “making available to the public of [authors’] works in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them” through a combination of extant exclusive rights, notably the distribution right and the public performance right, has not in the U.S. afforded secure coverage of the ...


On Aereo And "Avoision", Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

On Aereo And "Avoision", Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Avoision describes conduct which seeks to exploit 'the differences between a law's goals and its self-defined limits' – a phenomenon particularly apparent in tax law. This short paper explains how the technology company Aereo utilised avoision strategies in an attempt to design its way out of liability under US copyright law. The authors argue that existing formulations encourage such strategies by applying differently depending on how the transaction is structured, resulting in a wasteful devotion of resources to hyper-technical compliance with the letter rather than meaning and purpose of the law.?


Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part Ii (Fair Use), Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part Ii (Fair Use), Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This survey of recent U.S. fair use decisions examines the domestic evolution of the doctrine, particularly in light of the significant expansion of noninfringing “transformative” uses. The article also considers the U.S.’ compliance with its international obligations under the Berne Convention and the TRIPs Accord, and inquires whether the substantial enlargement of the application of the U.S. fair use exception exceeds the leeway that the Berne Convention, art. 9(2), WCT art. 10, and TRIPs art. 13 grant to member states to provide for exceptions and limitations to copyright.


Concurrent Damages, Bert I. Huang Jan 2014

Concurrent Damages, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Imagine that a hacker is working for a university official secretly spying on faculty members – say, to find out who has been leaking information to the press about internal disciplinary matters. The injuries to a given victim of the hacking might follow a classic learning curve: The first few intrusions into her e-mail account reveal a storehouse of personal secrets, but further break-ins yield less and less new information. One might say there is diminishing marginal harm.

There is no such leveling off, however, in the compensation that would be awarded to that victim. The electronic privacy law that bars ...