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Full-Text Articles in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

What Notice Did, Jessica Litman May 2016

What Notice Did, Jessica Litman

Jessica Litman

In this article, I explore the effect of the copyright notice prerequisite on the law's treatment of copyright ownership. The notice prerequisite, as construed by the courts, encouraged the development of legal doctrines that herded the ownership of copyrights into the hands of publishers and other intermediaries, notwithstanding statutory provisions that seem to have been designed at least in part to enable authors to keep their copyrights. Because copyright law required notice, other doctrinal developments were shaped by and distorted by that requirement. The promiscuous alienability of U.S. copyrights may itself have been an accidental development deriving from ...


The Evolution Of Internet Service Providers From Partners To Adversaries: Tracking Shifts In Interconnection Goals And Strategies In The Internet’S Fifth Generation, Rob Frieden Jul 2015

The Evolution Of Internet Service Providers From Partners To Adversaries: Tracking Shifts In Interconnection Goals And Strategies In The Internet’S Fifth Generation, Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

At the Internet’s inception, carriers providing the bit switching and transmission function largely embraced expanding connections and users as a primary service goal. These ventures refrained from metering traffic and charging for carriage based on the assumption that traffic volumes roughly matched, or that traffic measurement was not worth the bother in light of external funding from government grants. Most Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) bartered network access through a process known as peering in lieu of metering traffic and billing for network use. As governments removed subsidies and commercial carriers invested substantial funds to build larger and faster networks ...


Déjà Vu All Over Again: Questions And A Few Suggestions On How The Fcc Can Lawfully Regulate Internet Access, Rob Frieden Jul 2015

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Questions And A Few Suggestions On How The Fcc Can Lawfully Regulate Internet Access, Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

This paper will examine the FCC’s March, 2015 Open Internet Order with an eye to assessing whether and how the Commission can successfully defend its decision in an appellate court. On two prior occasions, the FCC failed to convince a reviewing court that proposed regulatory safeguards do not unlawfully impose common carrier duties on private carriers. The Commission now has opted to reclassify broadband Internet access as common carriage, a decision sure to trigger a third court appeal. The FCC Open Internet Order offers several, possibly contradictory, justifications for its decision to apply Title II of the Communications Act ...


Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica Litman Jun 2015

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica Litman

Jessica Litman

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 40 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 ...


Network Neutrality And Consumer Demand For “Better Than Best Efforts” Traffic Management, Rob Frieden May 2015

Network Neutrality And Consumer Demand For “Better Than Best Efforts” Traffic Management, Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

This paper assesses whether and how ISPs can offer quality of service enhancements, at premium prices for full motion video, while still complying with the new rules and regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) in March, 2015. The paper explains that having made the controversial decision to reclassify all forms of Internet access as a telecommunications service, the FCC increases regulatory uncertainty. In particular, the FCC has failed to identify instances where “retail ISPs,” serving residential broadband subscribers, can offer quality of service enhancements that serve real consumer wants without harming competition and the ability of most content ...


Invisible Labor, Invisible Play: Online Gold Farming And The Boundary Between Jobs And Games, Julian Dibbell Apr 2015

Invisible Labor, Invisible Play: Online Gold Farming And The Boundary Between Jobs And Games, Julian Dibbell

Julian Dibbell

When does work become play, and play work? Courts have considered the question in a variety of economic contexts, from student athletes seeking recognition as employees to professional blackjack players seeking to be treated by casinos just like casual players. Here I apply the question to a relatively novel context: that of online gold farming, a gray-market industry in which wage-earning workers, largely based in China, are paid to play online fantasy games (MMOs) that reward them with virtual items their employers sell for profit to the same games’ casual players. Gold farming is clearly a job (and under the ...


The Right To Read, Lea Shaver Feb 2015

The Right To Read, Lea Shaver

Lea Shaver

Reading – for education and for pleasure – may be framed as a personal indulgence, a moral virtue, or even a civic duty. What are the implications of framing reading as a human right?

Although novel, the rights-based frame finds strong support in international human rights law. The right to read need not be defended as a “new” human right. Rather, it can be located at the intersection of more familiar guarantees. Well-established rights to education, science, culture, and freedom of expression, among others, provide the necessary normative support for recognizing a universal right to read as already implicit in international law ...


Making A Mark: Taking A Glance At Trademarks And Graphic Infringement, Heather S. Ray Jan 2015

Making A Mark: Taking A Glance At Trademarks And Graphic Infringement, Heather S. Ray

Heather S Ray

No abstract provided.


Silent Similarity, Jessica Litman Jan 2015

Silent Similarity, Jessica Litman

Jessica Litman

From 1909 to 1930, U.S. courts grappled with claims by authors of prose works claiming that works in a new art form -- silent movies -- had infringed their copyrights. These cases laid the groundwork for much of modern copyright law, from their broad expansion of the reproduction right, to their puzzled grappling with the question how to compare works in dissimilar media, to their confusion over what sort of evidence should be relevant to show copyrightability, copying and infringement. Some of those cases – in particular, Nichols v. Universal Pictures – are canonical today. They are not, however, well-understood. In particular, the ...


The Google Art Project: An Analysis From A Legal And Social Perspective On Copyright Implications, Katrina Wu Dec 2014

The Google Art Project: An Analysis From A Legal And Social Perspective On Copyright Implications, Katrina Wu

Katrina Wu

The Google Art Project is an ambitious attempt by Google to curate worldwide artwork online in the highest resolution possible. Google accomplishes this by partnering with museums where museums provide access to art collections and Google provides the technology to capture high quality images. Under this existing model, Google places the burden of copyright clearances on museums and removes images from online if requested by copyright owners. An endeavor like the Google Art Project is not unprecedented however, when Google attempted to put the world’s books online under the Google Books Project, scanning millions of titles and offering snippets ...


The Costs And Benefits Of Regulatory Intervention In Internet Service Provider Interconnection Disputes: Lessons From Broadcaster-Cable Retransmission Consent Negotiations, Rob Frieden Aug 2014

The Costs And Benefits Of Regulatory Intervention In Internet Service Provider Interconnection Disputes: Lessons From Broadcaster-Cable Retransmission Consent Negotiations, Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

This paper considers what limited roles the FCC may lawfully assume to ensure timely and fair interconnection and compensation agreements in the Internet ecosystem. The paper examines the FCC’s limited role in broadcaster-cable television retransmission consent negotiations with an eye toward assessing the applicability of this model. The FCC explicitly states that it lacks jurisdiction to prescribe terms, or to mandate binding arbitration. However, it recently interpreted its statutory authority to ensure “good faith” negotiations as allowing it to constrain broadcaster negotiating leverage by prohibiting multiple operators, having the largest market share, from joining in collective negotiations with cable ...


Internet Protocol Television And The Challenge Of “Mission Critical” Bits., Rob Frieden Aug 2014

Internet Protocol Television And The Challenge Of “Mission Critical” Bits., Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

The Internet increasingly provides an alternative distribution medium for video and other types of high value, bandwidth intensive content. Many consumers have become “technology agnostic” about what kind of wireline or wireless medium provides service. However, they expect carriers to offer access anytime, anywhere, via any device and in any format. These early adopters of new technologies and alternatives to “legacy” media have no patience with the concept of “appointment television” that limits access to a specific time, on a single channel and in only one presentation format. This paper assesses whether and how Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) can offer ...


Reforming Copyright Interpretation, Zahr K. Said Aug 2014

Reforming Copyright Interpretation, Zahr K. Said

Zahr K Said

This Article argues that copyright law needs to acknowledge and reform its interpretive choice regime. Even though judges face potentially outcome-determinative choices among competing sources of interpretive authority when they adjudicate copyrightable works, their selection of interpretive methods has been almost entirely overlooked by scholars and judges alike. This selection among competing interpretive methods demands that judges choose where to locate their own authority: in the work itself; in the context around the work, including its reception, or in the author’s intentions; in expert opinions; or in judicial intuition. Copyright’s interpretive choice regime controls questions of major importance ...


Trademark Law And The Prickly Ambivalence Of Post-Parodies, Charles E. Colman Aug 2014

Trademark Law And The Prickly Ambivalence Of Post-Parodies, Charles E. Colman

Charles E. Colman

This Essay examines what I call "post-parodies" in apparel. This emerging genre of do-it-yourself fashion is characterized by the appropriation and modification of third-party trademarks — not for the sake of dismissively mocking or zealously glorifying luxury fashion, but rather to engage in more complex forms of expression. I examine the cultural circumstances and psychological factors giving rise to post-parodic fashion, and conclude that the sensibility causing its proliferation is one grounded in ambivalence. Unfortunately, current doctrine governing trademark parodies cannot begin to make sense of post-parodic goods; among other shortcomings, that doctrine suffers from crude analytical tools and a cramped ...


Invalid Pre-Termination Grants And The Challenge To Obtain A Remedy, Samuel H. Jones May 2014

Invalid Pre-Termination Grants And The Challenge To Obtain A Remedy, Samuel H. Jones

Samuel H Jones

The 1976 Copyright Act created what is now commonly known as the termination right, which allows authors to unilaterally terminate prior grants of their copyrights and reclaim ownership. This right was created, in large part, to liberate authors from unremunerative agreements previously entered into when the value of their copyrighted works had not yet been realized. It can be a powerful tool for authors to leverage more favorable agreements than they were previously able, particularly when those copyrights are highly valued. To ensure authors’ ability to exercise this right, Congress enacted provisions in the 1976 Copyright Act that prohibit authors ...


Friend Or Faux: The Trademark Counterfeiting Act's Inability To Stop The Sale Of Counterfeit Sporting Goods, Jennifer Riso Apr 2014

Friend Or Faux: The Trademark Counterfeiting Act's Inability To Stop The Sale Of Counterfeit Sporting Goods, Jennifer Riso

Jennifer Riso

The demand for counterfeit sporting goods, such as jerseys and other apparel, is on the rise as the prices of authentic goods continue to increase. The Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 criminalizes the import and sale of counterfeit goods, but is ineffective at addressing the demand side of counterfeit goods. This paper analyzes the history behind the Act and recommends ways to ensure that the act will stay relevant as technology makes it easier to purchase counterfeit goods.


The Transmit Clause Test: A Pragmatic Approach To A Contemporary Understanding Of The Ambiguity In The Copyright Act’S Transmit Clause, Samantha Tilipman Apr 2014

The Transmit Clause Test: A Pragmatic Approach To A Contemporary Understanding Of The Ambiguity In The Copyright Act’S Transmit Clause, Samantha Tilipman

Samantha Tilipman

The 1976 Copyright Act was a response to development of new technology and an attempt to clarify copyright law to promote further investment in the burgeoning sphere of cable systems.[1] In drafting the provisions of the new Act, Congress created the “Transmit Clause,” a key passage nestled into the definition of “to perform or display a work ‘publicly.’”[2]The ambiguity of the Transmit Clause has led the circuits to interpret it differently leading to conflicting caselaw on opposite ends of the nation. The purpose of this note is to provide the Supreme Court of the United States and ...


Decoding Bollywood’S Royalty-Sharing Conundrum, Pralika Jain Apr 2014

Decoding Bollywood’S Royalty-Sharing Conundrum, Pralika Jain

Pralika Jain

India’s film making community and business got „industry‟ status only in 2011. However, unlike major industries such as telecom and pharmaceutical, the film industry (popularly known as “Bollywood”) is characterised by a major lack of legal rules and institutions to administer them, the problem being most acute in respect of artists. Consequently, the industry is governed completely by market forces whose successful players wield nearly all the bargaining power. It’s almost baffling that a film industry which is currently worlds second in terms of revenue is so thinly regulated.


N.I.G.G.A., Slumdog, Dyke, Jap, And Heeb: Reconsidering Disparaging Trademarks In A Post-Racial Era, Amanda E. Compton Mar 2014

N.I.G.G.A., Slumdog, Dyke, Jap, And Heeb: Reconsidering Disparaging Trademarks In A Post-Racial Era, Amanda E. Compton

Amanda E. Compton

Currently registration of disparaging trademarks is prohibited under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. Recent events, however, should reinvigorate the debate about the protection and registration of disparaging marks: (1) recent decisions published by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that continue to address and highlight the issues surrounding the registration of disparaging marks; (2) a proposed federal act that would not only specifically bar the registration of any trademark that includes the word “redskins,” but would also retroactively cancel any existing registration that consist of or includes that term; and (3) an amendment to a state act ...


The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson Jan 2014

The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson

Hillary A Henderson

Copyright law rewards an artificial monopoly to individual authors for their creations. This reward is based on the belief that, by granting authors the exclusive right to reproduce their works, they receive an incentive and means to create, which in turn advances the welfare of the general public by “promoting the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device . . . . In no ...


Creative Equity: A Practical Approach To The Actor's Copyright, Sarah Howes Jan 2014

Creative Equity: A Practical Approach To The Actor's Copyright, Sarah Howes

Sarah A Howes

In 2014, the 9th circuit declared in Garcia v. Google that an actor's contribution to a short, controversial YouTube video was copyrightable material. This holding permitted the actor to enjoin YouTube from distributing the work on its webpage. This article discusses the actor's copyright by looking at the basic requirements of copyrightability, industry specific concerns and the conflicting public policy arguments therein. The thesis requests that a dramatic performance be categorized as copyrightable material under the U.S. Copyright Act.


The Apocalyptic Presidential Right Of Publicity, Michael G. Bennett Aug 2013

The Apocalyptic Presidential Right Of Publicity, Michael G. Bennett

Michael G. Bennett

The Apocalyptic Presidential Right of Publicity

Michael G Bennett Associate Professor Northeastern School of Law

Abstract

This article critically examines publicity rights doctrine as applied to celebrity political figures. It is particularly concerned with the prominence of science fictional concepts, theoretical frameworks and tropes in cases that mark the extreme scope of the doctrine and in the scholarship that aims to render case law rationally meaningful. And it situates President Obama and the difficult doctrinal issues his candidacy and subsequent election highlighted at the center of its analysis.

Part one of the article briefly describes the right of publicity and ...


Slaves To Copyright: Branding Human Flesh As A Tangible Medium Of Expression, Arrielle S. Millstein Aug 2013

Slaves To Copyright: Branding Human Flesh As A Tangible Medium Of Expression, Arrielle S. Millstein

Arrielle S Millstein

This paper argues why human flesh, because of its inherent properties and its necessity for human survival, should not qualify as a tangible medium of expression under the Copyright Act of 1976. Through policy concerns and property law this paper demonstrates why the fixation requirement, necessary to obtain copyright protection of a “work,” must be flexible and eliminate human flesh as an acceptable, tangible medium of expression, to avoid the disastrous risk of the court falling into the role of “21st Century judicial slave masters.”


Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Are You To Say Who Is Fairest Of Them All?, Ashley R. Brown Jul 2013

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Are You To Say Who Is Fairest Of Them All?, Ashley R. Brown

Ashley R Brown

No abstract provided.


Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Are You To Say Who Is Fairest Of Them All?, Ashley R. Brown Jul 2013

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Are You To Say Who Is Fairest Of Them All?, Ashley R. Brown

Ashley R Brown

No abstract provided.


Substantial Similarity In Literary Infringement Cases: A Chart For Turbid Waters, Robert F. Helfing Jun 2013

Substantial Similarity In Literary Infringement Cases: A Chart For Turbid Waters, Robert F. Helfing

Robert F Helfing

INTRODUCTION

"We delve once again," wrote Ninth Circuit Judge Alex O. Kozinski, "into the turbid waters of the 'extrinsic test' for substantial similarity under the Copyright Act.”[1] The court had before it a claim that a popular television series infringed the copyrights in plaintiffs’ screenplays. Precedent regarding substantial similarity is particularly confused in cases involving literary infringement, resulting in virtually automatic rejection: In the past 35 years, courts in the Ninth Circuit has allowed only three such claims to avoid summary dismissal, none since 2002 when Judge Kozinski made his remark about turbid waters. Yet, in the absence of ...


Recognized Stature: Protecting Street Art As Cultural Property, Griffin M. Barnett May 2013

Recognized Stature: Protecting Street Art As Cultural Property, Griffin M. Barnett

Griffin M. Barnett

This Article discusses the current legal regimes in the United States implicated by works of "street art." The Article suggests an amendment to the Visual Artists Rights Act that would protect certain works of street art as "cultural property" - thereby promoting the arts and the preserving important works of art that might otherwise be at the mercy of property owners or others who do not share the interests of artists and the members of communities enhanced by works of street art.


Decoding And Resisting Culture: Reception Theory And Copyright Law, Meghan M. Lydon Ms. Apr 2013

Decoding And Resisting Culture: Reception Theory And Copyright Law, Meghan M. Lydon Ms.

Meghan M. Lydon Ms.

Though there has been much academic treatment of the author’s role in copyright law, few academic articles have been published about the reader’s role. Of those articles, only one has examined copyright law through the lens of reader response theory. In her article “Everything is Transformative: Fair Use and Reader Response,” 31 Colum. J.L. & Arts 445, Laura Heyman relied on English professor Stanley Fish’s famous reader response theory to argue that all works are transformative because readers naturally interpret texts from their own perspectives and that copyright law’s transformative use test should measure the use ...


Unringing The Bell: The Government Speech Doctrine And Publicly-Funded Art, John Barlow Apr 2013

Unringing The Bell: The Government Speech Doctrine And Publicly-Funded Art, John Barlow

John Barlow

No abstract provided.


Rediscovering Cumulative Creativity From The Oral Formulaic Tradition To Digital Remix: Can I Get A Witness?, Giancarlo Francesco Frosio Mar 2013

Rediscovering Cumulative Creativity From The Oral Formulaic Tradition To Digital Remix: Can I Get A Witness?, Giancarlo Francesco Frosio

Giancarlo Francesco Frosio

For most of human history the essential nature of creativity was understood to be cumulative and collective. This notion has been largely forgotten by modern policies regulating creativity and speech. As hard as it may be to believe, the most valuable components of our immortal culture were created under a fully open regime with regard to access to pre-existing expressions and reuse. From the Platonic mimēsis to the Roman imitatio, from Macrobius’ Saturnalia to the imitatio Vergili, from medieval auctoritas and Chaucer the compilator to Anon the singer and social textuality, from Chrétien’s art of rewriting to Shakespeare’s ...