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Full-Text Articles in Law

Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Propertizing Fair Use, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its current form, fair use doctrine provides a personal defense that applies narrowly to the specific use by the specific user. The landmark case of Google v. Oracle, currently pending before the Supreme Court, illustrates why this is problematic. Even if the Court were to rule that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java API’s was fair, the ruling would not protect the numerous parties that developed Java applications for the Android operating system; it would only shelter Google and Google’s particular use. This is not an isolated problem; the per use/per user rule cuts across ...


Scenes From The Copyright Office, Brian L. Frye Apr 2016

Scenes From The Copyright Office, Brian L. Frye

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This essay uses a series of vignettes drawn from Billy Joel’s career to describe his encounters with copyright law. It begins by examining the ownership of the copyright in Joel’s songs. It continues by considering the authorship of Joel’s songs, and it concludes by evaluating certain infringement actions filed against Joel. This Essay observes that Joel’s encounters with copyright law were confusing and frustrating, but also quite typical. The banality of his experiences captures the uncertainty and incoherence of copyright doctrine.


Fair Use And The New Transformative, Brian Sites Jan 2016

Fair Use And The New Transformative, Brian Sites

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman Apr 2015

Silent Similarity, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

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 ...


Antibiotic Resistance, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2012

Antibiotic Resistance, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Ten years ago, when I wrote War Stories,' copyright lawyers were fighting over the question whether unlicensed personal, noncommercial copying, performance or display would be deemed copyright infringement. I described three strategies that lawyers for book publishers, record labels, and movie studios had deployed to try to assure that the question was answered the way they wanted it to be. First, copyright owners were labeling all unlicensed uses as "piracy" on the ground that any unlicensed use might undermine copyright owners' control. That epithet helped to obscure the difference between unlicensed uses that invaded defined statutory exclusive rights and other ...


Bloodsucking Copyrights, Ann Bartow Jan 2010

Bloodsucking Copyrights, Ann Bartow

Law Faculty Scholarship

Some bloodsuckers live off the life-sustaining fluids of involuntary hosts and leave behind diseases or venom. Fleas, ticks, bedbugs, and mosquitoes are all bloodsuckers that are best avoided. Others, like the leech, suck blood in ways that can be very helpful to a host, promoting blood flow and healing. Vampires are fictional, sentient bloodsuckers that have populated various entertainment genres for centuries. Copyrights, too, can suck blood metaphorically in productive and destructive ways, or simply suck, period, when they senselessly impede free-flowing veins of information. And though they are not (yet) immortal, copyrights last a very long time. In Copyright ...


Introduction: From Sheet Music To Mp3 Files—A Brief Perspective On Napster, Harold R. Weinberg Jan 2001

Introduction: From Sheet Music To Mp3 Files—A Brief Perspective On Napster, Harold R. Weinberg

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The Napster case is the current cause celebre of the digital age. The story has color. It involves music-sharing technology invented by an eighteen-year-old college dropout whose high school classmates nicknamed him "The Napster" on account of his perpetually kinky hair. The story has drama. Depending on your perspective, it pits rapacious big music companies against poor and hardworking students who just want to enjoy some tunes; or it pits creative and industrious music companies seeking a fair return on their invested effort, time, and money against greedy and irreverent music thieves. And the case has importance. Music maybe intellectual ...