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Legal History

1976 Copyright Act

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Full-Text Articles in Law

What Notice Did, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2016

What Notice Did, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

In the twenty-first century, copyright protection is automatic. It vests in eligible works the instant that those works are first embodied in a tangible format. Many Americans are unaware of that, believing instead that registration and copyright notice are required to secure a copyright. That impression is understandable. For its first 199 years, United States copyright law required authors to take affirmative steps to obtain copyright protection. The first U.S. copyright statute, enacted by Congress in 1790, required the eligible author of an eligible work to record the title of the work with the clerk of the court in ...


The Public Domain, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1990

The Public Domain, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

This article examines the public domain by looking at the gulf between what authors really do and the way the law perceives them. Part I outlines the basics of copyright as a species of property and introduces the public domain's place within the copyright scheme. Copyright grants authors" ' rights modeled on real property in order to encourage authorship by providing authors with markets in which they can seek compensation for their creations. Because parcels of authorship are intangible, however, the law faces *problems in determining the ownership and boundaries of its property grants. In particular, the concept of "originality ...


Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1989

Copyright Legislation And Technological Change, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Throughout its history, copyright law has had difficulty accommodating technological change. Although the substance of copyright legislation in this century has evolved from meetings among industry representatives whose avowed purpose was to draft legislation that provided for the future,6 the resulting statutes have done so poorly. The language of copyright statutes has been phrased in fact-specific language that has grown obsolete as new modes and mediums of copyrightable expression have developed. Whatever copyright statute has been on the books has been routinely, and justifiably, criticized as outmoded.7 In this Article, I suggest that the nature of the legislative ...


Copyright, Compromise And Legislative History, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1987

Copyright, Compromise And Legislative History, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Copyright law gives authors a "property right." But what kind of property right? Indeed, a property right in what? The answers to these questions should be apparent from a perusal of title seventeen of the United States Code-the statute that confers the "property" right.' Courts, however, have apparently found title seventeen an unhelpful guide. For the most part, they look elsewhere for answers, relying primarily on prior courts' constructions of an earlier and very different statute on the same subject. 2