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A Matter Of Facts: The Evolution Of Copyright’S Fact-Exclusion And Its Implications For Disinformation And Democracy, Jessica Silbey Jan 2024

A Matter Of Facts: The Evolution Of Copyright’S Fact-Exclusion And Its Implications For Disinformation And Democracy, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

The Article begins with a puzzle: the curious absence of an express fact-exclusion from copyright protection in both the Copyright Act and its legislative history despite it being a well-founded legal principle. It traces arguments in the foundational Supreme Court case (Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service) and in the Copyright Act’s legislative history to discern a basis for the fact-exclusion. That research trail produces a legal genealogy of the fact-exclusion based in early copyright common law anchored by canonical cases, Baker v. Selden, Burrow-Giles v. Sarony, and Wheaton v. Peters. Surprisingly, none of them …


The Field Of Invention, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Mar 2017

The Field Of Invention, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Federal courts can ill afford to ignore, assume, or improvise a pervasively important administrative power that the Patent Office exercises regularly and effectively: technology classification. This agency-court asymmetry has persisted for decades but has now become unmanageably problematic for two related reasons. First, Supreme Court guidance, patent reform legislation, and academic commentary have all broadly rejected long-standing patent exceptionalism in administrative law, while making the Patent Office a major substitute for federal courts in resolving patent disputes. Still, patent doctrine has been slow to correct, particularly in judicial deference to agency action. Second, criticisms of the patent system are highly …


Common Law And Statutory Restrictions On Access: Contract, Trespass, And The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act, Maureen A. O'Rourke Jan 2002

Common Law And Statutory Restrictions On Access: Contract, Trespass, And The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act, Maureen A. O'Rourke

Faculty Scholarship

Is copyright law relevant to the terms of access to information? Certainly, few would seriously contend that breaking into a locked filing cabinet to obtain access to a manuscript is not sanctionable, even if the intruder had some purpose that copyright law would applaud with respect to the information contained in the manuscript itself. Many instinctively believe that one must pay the asking price and respect the terms that accompany a copyrighted work or face the consequences under some set of laws like copyrights or contracts. In short, society likely generally believes that market forces regulate the conditions of access …


Fencing Cyberspace: Drawing Borders In A Virtual World, Maureen A. O'Rourke Jan 1998

Fencing Cyberspace: Drawing Borders In A Virtual World, Maureen A. O'Rourke

Faculty Scholarship

In the last few years, the Internet has increasingly become a source of information even for the historically computer illiterate. The growing popularity of the Internet has been driven in large part by the World Wide Web (web). The web is a system that facilitates use of the Internet by helping users sort through the great mass of information available on it. The web uses software that allows one document to link to and access another, and so on, despite the fact that the documents may reside on different machines in physically remote locations. The dispersion of data that is …


On Commodifying Intangibles, Wendy J. Gordon, Sam Postbrief Jan 1998

On Commodifying Intangibles, Wendy J. Gordon, Sam Postbrief

Faculty Scholarship

It was made clear long ago that property and value are different things. Value exists. It is a fact. It can arise from law, and much of law aims at creating more value in the world. But value can also arise in spite of law (consider, for example, the fortunes that bootleggers made during the Roaring Twenties), or in law's interstices. When a particular value arises despite a lack of explicit legal protection, its possessors often ask courts or legislatures to give them a legal entitlement to preserve and further exploit that value. Typically the holders demand (1) a liberty …


Norms Of Communication And Commodification, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 1996

Norms Of Communication And Commodification, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

Around the laws that regulate information and communication swarm a host of related nonlegal norms: norms of secrecy, confidentiality, and privacy; of anonymity, source-identity, and citation; of quotation, paraphrase, and hyperbole; norms of free copying and norms of obtaining permission; norms of gossip and of blackmail. The articles by Saul Levmore and Richard McAdams provide useful windows on some of the ways these laws and norms interact. The two articles also provide insight into the comparative advantage possessed in some circumstances by law and by nonlegal norms, respectively, when information and communication are at issue. In my brief Comment I …