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Full-Text Articles in Law

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2015

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

When copyright lawyers gather to discuss fair use, the most common refrain is its alarming expansion. Their distress about fair use’s enlarged footprint seems completely untethered from any appreciation of the remarkable increase in exclusive copyright rights. In the nearly forty years since Congress enacted the 1976 copyright act, the rights of copyright owners have expanded markedly. Copyright owners’ demands for further expansion continue unabated. Meanwhile, they raise strident objections to proposals to add new privileges and exceptions to the statute to shelter non-infringing uses that might be implicated by their expanded rights. Copyright owners have used the resulting ...


Derivative Works 2.0: Reconsidering Transformative Use In The Age Of Crowdsourced Creation, Jacqueline D. Lipton, John Tehranian Jan 2015

Derivative Works 2.0: Reconsidering Transformative Use In The Age Of Crowdsourced Creation, Jacqueline D. Lipton, John Tehranian

Articles

Apple invites us to “Rip. Mix. Burn.” while Sony exhorts us to “make.believe.” Digital service providers enable us to create new forms of derivative work — work based substantially on one or more preexisting works. But can we, in a carefree and creative spirit, remix music, movies, and television shows without fear of copyright infringement liability? Despite the exponential growth of remixing technologies, content holders continue to benefit from the vagaries of copyright law. There are no clear principles to determine whether any given remix will infringe one or more copyrights. Thus, rights holders can easily and plausibly threaten infringement ...


Madisonian Fair Use, Michael J. Madison Jan 2012

Madisonian Fair Use, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This short essay reflects on developments in the law, scholarship, and practice of fair use since the publication in 2004 of an earlier article on patterns in fair use practice and adjudication. It synthesizes many of those developments in the idea of “Madisonian” fair use, borrowing the separation of powers metaphor from James Madison’s work on the US Constitution and applying it, lightly and in a preliminary way, to copyright.


Readers' Copyright, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2011

Readers' Copyright, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

My goal in this project is to reclaim copyright for readers (and listeners, viewers, and other members of the audience). I think, and will try to persuade you, that the gradual and relatively recent disappearance of readers’ interests from the core of copyright’s perceived goals has unbalanced the copyright system. It may have prompted, at least in part, the scholarly critique of copyright that has fueled copyright lawyers’ impression that “so many in academia side with the pirates.” It may also be responsible for much of the deterioration in public support for copyright. I argue here that copyright seems ...


The Copyright Principles Project: Directions For Reform, Jessica D. Litman, Pamela Samuelson, The Copyright Principles Project Jan 2010

The Copyright Principles Project: Directions For Reform, Jessica D. Litman, Pamela Samuelson, The Copyright Principles Project

Articles

Copyright law performs a number of important functions. It facilitates public access to knowledge and a wide range of uses of creative works of authorship, and, in so doing, it helps educate our populace, enrich our culture, and promote free speech, free expression, and democratic values. It provides opportunities for rights holders to recoup investments in creating and disseminating their works and to enjoy the fruits of whatever success arises from the public's uses of their works. In the process, copyright also plays a role in regulating new technologies and services through which creative works may be accessed. A ...


Some Optimism About Fair Use And Copyright Law, Michael J. Madison Jan 2010

Some Optimism About Fair Use And Copyright Law, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This short paper reflects on the emergence of codes of best practices in fair use, highlighting both the relationship between the best practices approach and an institutional perspective on copyright and the relationship between the best practices approach and social processes of innovation and creativity.


The Dangers Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Much Ado About Nothing?, Steve P. Calandrillo, Ewa A. Davison Jan 2008

The Dangers Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Much Ado About Nothing?, Steve P. Calandrillo, Ewa A. Davison

Articles

In 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a landmark piece of legislation aimed at protecting copyright holders from those who might manufacture or traffic technology capable of allowing users to evade piracy protections on the underlying work. At its core, the DMCA flatly prohibits the circumvention of “technological protection measures” in order to gain access to copyrighted works, but provides no safety valve for any traditionally protected uses.

While hailed as a victory by the software and entertainment industries, the academic and scientific communities ties have been far less enthusiastic. The DMCA’s goal of combating piracy ...


Billowing White Goo, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2008

Billowing White Goo, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

The title of this symposium is the question: "Fair Use: "Incredibly Shrinking" or Extraordinarily Expanding?" I'd argue that the answer to the question is "no." Fair use isn't doing either. The size of the fair use footprint has stayed remarkably constant over the past 30 or even 50 years. What has expanded, extraordinarily, is the size of rights granted by the copyright law. It may seem as if fair use is either expanding or shrinking, because the greater reach of copyright has made a bunch of uses potentially fair that weren't even potentially infringing 50 years ago ...


Lawful Personal Use, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2007

Lawful Personal Use, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Despite having sued more than 20,000 of its customers,2 the recording industry wants the world to know that it has no complaint with personal use. Copyright lawyers of all stripes agree that copyright includes a free zone in which individuals may make personal use of copyrighted works without legal liability.3 Unlike other nations, though, the United States hasn't drawn the borders of its lawful personal use zone by statute.4 Determining the circumstances under which personal use of copyrighted works will be deemed lawful is essentially a matter of inference and analogy, and differently striped copyright ...


Creative Reading, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2007

Creative Reading, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Let me begin with something that Jamie Boyle wrote ten years ago in Intellectual Property Policy Online: A Young Person's Guide:' Copyright marks the attempt to achieve for texts and other works a balance in which the assumption of the system is that widespread use is possible without copying. The relative bundles of rights of the user and the owner achieve their balance based on a set of economic and technical assumptions about the meaning of normal use. For our purposes, I would like to generalize this as something that Boyle might have written if he had not in ...


Rewriting Fair Use And The Future Of Copyright Reform, Michael J. Madison Jan 2005

Rewriting Fair Use And The Future Of Copyright Reform, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Essay describes a social practices approach to the production of creative expression, as a construct to guide reform of copyright law. Specifically, it reimagines copyright's fair use doctrine by basing its statutory text explicitly on social practices. It argues that the social practices approach is consistent with the historical development of the fair use doctrine and with the policy goals of copyright law, and that the approach should be recognized in the text of the statute as well as in judicial applications of fair use.


A Pattern-Oriented Approach To Fair Use, Michael J. Madison Jan 2004

A Pattern-Oriented Approach To Fair Use, Michael J. Madison

Articles

More than 150 years into development of the doctrine of "fair use" in American copyright law, there is no end to legislative, judicial, and academic efforts to rationalize the doctrine. Its codification in the 1976 Copyright Act appears to have contributed to its fragmentation, rather than to its coherence. This Article suggests that fair use is neither badly conceived nor badly applied, but that it is too often badly understood. As did much of copyright law, fair use originated as a judicially-unacknowledged effort via the law to validate certain favored social practices and patterns. In the main, it has continued ...


What's My Copy Right?, Michael J. Madison Jan 2001

What's My Copy Right?, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This piece consists of an early 21st century whimsy, a dialogue that borrows and blends history and humor to illustrate some puzzles of copyright law in the context of digital technology (with references to Folsom v. Marsh and Abbott & Costello).


Complexity And Copyright In Contradiction, Michael J. Madison Jan 2000

Complexity And Copyright In Contradiction, Michael J. Madison

Articles

The title of the article is a deliberate play on architect Robert Venturi's classic of post-modern architectural theory, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. The article analyzes metaphorical 'architectures' of copyright and cyberspace using architectural and land use theories developed for the physical world. It applies this analysis to copyright law through the lens of the First Amendment. I argue that the 'simplicity' of digital engineering is undermining desirable 'complexity' in legal and physical structures that regulate expressive works.


Legal-Ware: Contract And Copyright In The Digital Age, Michael J. Madison Jan 1998

Legal-Ware: Contract And Copyright In The Digital Age, Michael J. Madison

Articles

ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg, which enforced a shrinkwrap license for computer software, has encouraged the expansion of the shrinkwrap form beyond computer programs, forward, onto the Internet, and backward, toward such traditional works as books and magazines. Authors and publishers are using that case to advance norms of information use that exclude, practically and conceptually, a robust public domain and a meaningful doctrine of fair use. Contesting such efforts by focusing on the contractual nature of traditional shrinkwrap, by relying on market principles, on adhesion theory, on commercial law concepts of usage and custom, or on federal preemption doctrine, feeds ...