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Intellectual Property Law

Copyright law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Conundra Of The Berne Convention Concept Of The Country Of Origin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2021

Conundra Of The Berne Convention Concept Of The Country Of Origin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay explores one of the most important, but occasionally intractable, issues under the Berne Convention, the concept of Country of Origin. Article 5(4) of that treaty defines a work’s country of origin, but leaves out several situations, leaving those who interpret and apply the treaty without guidance in ascertaining the country of origin. I will call those situations the “Conundra of the country of origin,” and will explore two of them here. First, what is the country of origin of an unpublished work whose authors are nationals of different countries? Second, what is the country of origin ...


Internet Architecture And Disability, Blake E. Reid Jan 2020

Internet Architecture And Disability, Blake E. Reid

Articles

The Internet is essential for education, employment, information, and cultural and democratic participation. For tens of millions of people with disabilities in the United States, barriers to accessing the Internet—including the visual presentation of information to people who are blind or visually impaired, the aural presentation of information to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the persistence of Internet technology, interfaces, and content without regard to prohibitive cognitive load for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities—collectively pose one of the most significant civil rights issues of the information age. Yet disability law lacks a comprehensive ...


Fair Use Factor Four Revisited: Valuing The "Value Of The Copyrighted Work" – Essay, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2020

Fair Use Factor Four Revisited: Valuing The "Value Of The Copyrighted Work" – Essay, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Recent caselaw has restored the prominence of the fourth statutory factor – “the effect of the use upon the market for or value of the copyrighted work” – in the fair use analysis. The revitalization of the inquiry should also occasion renewed reflection on its meaning. As digital media bring to the fore new or previously under-examined kinds of harm, courts not only need to continue refining their appreciation of a work’s markets. They must also expand their analyses beyond the traditional inquiry into whether the challenged use substitutes for an actual or potential market for the work. Courts should acknowledge ...


Foreign Contracts And U.S. Copyright Termination Rights: What Law Applies? – Comment, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2020

Foreign Contracts And U.S. Copyright Termination Rights: What Law Applies? – Comment, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Copyright Act gives authors the right to terminate assignments of copyrights in works other than works for hire executed on or after 1 January 1978 after 35 years, and to do so notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary. Given that agreements which are subject to the laws of other countries can assign U.S. copyrights, and purport to do so in perpetuity, U.S. law’s preclusion of agreements contrary to the author’s right to exercise her termination right can give rise to a difficult choice of law issue. Two recent cases which came before courts ...


Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2020

Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, the Federal Circuit undermined copyright law’s deference to patent law and, in doing so, delivered a blow to both regimes. Copyright’s deference— including a historic refusal to enforce rights that might undermine the public’s liberty to copy unpatented inventions-- is a necessary part of preserving inventors’ willingness to accept the short duration, mandatory disclosure, and other stringent bargains demanded by patent law. Deference to patent law is also integral to copyright law’s interior architecture; copyright’s refusal to monopolize functional applications of creative work lowers the social costs that ...


Brief Of Amici Curiae 116 Law Librarians And 5 Law Library Organizations In Support Of Respondent, Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., No. 18-1150 (U.S. Oct. 16, 2019), Michelle M. Wu Oct 2019

Brief Of Amici Curiae 116 Law Librarians And 5 Law Library Organizations In Support Of Respondent, Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., No. 18-1150 (U.S. Oct. 16, 2019), Michelle M. Wu

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

Due process and the rule of law require that the public has meaningful access to “the law.” Every major modern society since the Greeks has recognized the importance of this principle. Roscoe Pound, Theories of the Law, 22 Yale L.J. 114, 117 (1912).

In the United States, “the law” largely comes from appellate courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies who have been granted rule-making authority. As every first year law student learns, those law-making bodies have developed highly specific methods for communicating their pronouncements of law through official publications, such as the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (“OCGA”).

Those specific ...


Imaginary Bottles, Jessica Litman Aug 2019

Imaginary Bottles, Jessica Litman

Articles

This essay, written for a symposium commemorating John Perry Barlow, who died on February 7, 2018, revisits Barlow's 1994 essay for WIRED magazine, "The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age (everything you know about intellectual property is wrong)." Barlow observed that networked digital technology posed massive and fundamental challenges for the markets for what Barlow termed “the work we do with our minds” and for the intellectual property laws designed to shape those markets. He predicted that those challenges would melt extant intellectual property systems into a smoking heap within a decade ...


Embedding Content Or Interring Copyright: Does The Internet Need The "Server Rule"?, Jane C. Ginsburg, Luke Ali Budiardjo Jan 2019

Embedding Content Or Interring Copyright: Does The Internet Need The "Server Rule"?, Jane C. Ginsburg, Luke Ali Budiardjo

Faculty Scholarship

The “server rule” holds that online displays or performances of copyrighted content accomplished through “in-line” or “framing” hyperlinks do not trigger the exclusive rights of public display or performance unless the linker also possesses a copy of the underlying work. As a result, the rule shields a vast array of online activities from claims of direct copyright infringement, effectively exempting those activities from the reach of the Copyright Act. While the server rule has enjoyed relatively consistent adherence since its adoption in 2007, some courts have recently suggested a departure from that precedent, noting the doctrinal and statutory inconsistencies underlying ...


Fair Use In The United States: Transformed, Deformed, Reformed?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2019

Fair Use In The United States: Transformed, Deformed, Reformed?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1994 adoption of “transformative use” as a criterion for evaluating the first statutory fair use factor (“nature and purpose of the use”), “transformative use” analysis has engulfed all of fair use, becoming transformed, and perhaps deformed, in the process. A finding of “transformativeness” often foreordained the ultimate outcome, as the remaining factors, especially the fourth (impact of the use on the market for or value of the copied work), withered into restatements of the first. For a time, moreover, courts’ characterization of uses as “transformative” seemed ever more generous (if not in some ...


What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman Nov 2018

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman

Articles

For all of the rhetoric about the central place of authors in the copyright scheme, our copyright laws in fact give them little power and less money. Intermediaries own the copyrights, and are able to structure licenses so as to maximise their own revenue while shrinking their pay-outs to authors. Copyright scholars have tended to treat this point superficially, because – as lawyers – we take for granted that copyrights are property; property rights are freely alienable; and the grantee of a property right stands in the shoes of the original holder. I compare the 1710 Statute of Anne, which created statutory ...


What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman May 2018

What We Don't See When We See Copyright As Property, Jessica Litman

Law & Economics Working Papers

It is becoming increasingly clear that the supposed copyright wars that copyright scholars believed we were fighting – nominally pitting the interests of authors and creators against the interests of readers and other members of the audience – were never really about that at all. Instead the real conflict has been between the publishers, record labels, movie studios, and other intermediaries who rose to market dominance in the 20th century, and the digital services and platforms that have become increasingly powerful copyright players in the 21st. In this essay, adapted from the 13th annual University of Cambridge Center for Intellectual Property and ...


Commentary, Improving The Quality And Consistency Of Copyright Infringement Analysis In Music, Kristelia A. García Jan 2018

Commentary, Improving The Quality And Consistency Of Copyright Infringement Analysis In Music, Kristelia A. García

Articles

No abstract provided.


Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2018

Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

Copyright protection attaches automatically to original works you create, whether a poem, photograph, painting, song, video, or essay. Copyright limits what others can do with your creative work and protects your original work from, for example, being compiled or reused and sold for profit. If you hold the copyright—and didn’t, say, create the original work in an employment context where it may be subject to being a work for hire—you may want to allow others to use your work for particular purposes. You could individually negotiate a license granting rights to each person, which would undoubtedly take ...


The New Separability, Lili Levi Jan 2018

The New Separability, Lili Levi

Articles

In Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the Supreme Court recently unveiled a new approach to separability. Because copyright law protects expression, not function, aesthetic features of useful articles are eligible for copyright protection only if they are separable from the functional work in which they are incorporated. But the Copyright Actdoes not define separability, and Star Athletica is the latest judicial effort to try to fill that void. Unfortunately, the new separability is open to a wide range of critiques. Relatively low-hanging fruit are the vagueness and indeterminacy of the new test, the Court's unsatisfactory attempts to avoid defining ...


Authors And Machines, Jane C. Ginsburg, Luke Ali Budiardjo Jan 2018

Authors And Machines, Jane C. Ginsburg, Luke Ali Budiardjo

Faculty Scholarship

Machines, by providing the means of mass production of works of authorship, engendered copyright law. Throughout history, the emergence of new technologies tested the concept of authorship, and courts in response endeavored to clarify copyright’s foundational principles. Today, developments in computer science have created a new form of machine – the “artificially intelligent” system apparently endowed with “computational creativity” – that introduces challenging variations on the perennial question of what makes one an “author” in copyright law: Is the creator of a generative program automatically the author of the works her process begets, even if she cannot anticipate the contents of ...


Copyright Law And Photocopying Practice In Nigeria, Glory Onoyeyan Jan 2018

Copyright Law And Photocopying Practice In Nigeria, Glory Onoyeyan

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

The protection of copyright is an obligation of nations in order to promote and encourage innovation and creativity The copyright law gives the owner of copyrighted work the exclusive right to control the reproduction of copyrighted works. This right, however, does not bestow on the copyright owner an absolute monopoly to control access to copyrighted information. The paper highlighted that illegal photocopying practice of copyrighted work is damaging to the rights of owners of copyrighted materials as it stifles creativity, innovation and development, and the introduction of the doctrine of ‘fair use’ is aimed at balancing the exclusive rights of ...


Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2018

Creative Commons: An Explainer, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

Copyright protection attaches automatically to original works you create, whether a poem, photograph, painting, song, video, or essay. Copyright limits what others can do with your creative work and protects your original work from, for example, being compiled or reused and sold for profit. If you hold the copyright—and didn’t, say, create the original work in an employment context where it may be subject to being a work for hire—you may want to allow others to use your work for particular purposes. You could individually negotiate a license granting rights to each person, which would undoubtedly take ...


Section 108 Of Title 17: A Discussion Document Of The Register Of Copyrights, Chris Weston, Aurelia J. Schultz, Emily M. Lanza, Michelle Choe, Karyn Temple Claggett Sep 2017

Section 108 Of Title 17: A Discussion Document Of The Register Of Copyrights, Chris Weston, Aurelia J. Schultz, Emily M. Lanza, Michelle Choe, Karyn Temple Claggett

Copyright, Fair Use, Scholarly Communication, etc.

The objective of the discussion document is: to review the issues raised over the past decade of revision work; to outline the Office’s current views and proposals on the various revision issues; and to present and explain model statutory language for a new section 108. Although the model statutory language should not be seen as the Office’s final view on section 108, the Office believes that it is important to provide a more concrete framework for further discussion. Additionally, the Discussion Document includes copious illustrative examples of how the Office envisions the proposals might work in practice.

CONCLUSION ...


Fetishizing Copies, Jessica Litman Jan 2017

Fetishizing Copies, Jessica Litman

Book Chapters

Our copyright laws encourage authors to create new works and communicate them to the public, because we hope that people will read the books, listen to the music, see the art, watch the films, run the software, and build and inhabit the buildings. That is the way that copyright promotes the Progress of Science. Recently, that not-very-controversial principle has collided with copyright owners’ conviction that they should be able to control, or at least collect royalties from, all uses of their works. A particularly ill-considered manifestation of this conviction is what I have decided to call copy-fetish. This is the ...


The Whole Is More Public Domain Than The Parts?: Us Copyright Protection For Works Of Applied Art Under Star Athletica's Imagination Test, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

The Whole Is More Public Domain Than The Parts?: Us Copyright Protection For Works Of Applied Art Under Star Athletica's Imagination Test, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve confusion in the lower courts regarding the “separability” predicate to copyright protection of decorative features of useful articles. The case involved the “surface decorations” of stripes, chevrons, and color blocks applied to cheerleader uniforms. While the Supreme Court clarified the meaning and application of the “separability” standard for the kinds of decorative elements there at issue, the fate of other artistic “features” of useful articles, particularly their three dimensional forms, remains murky. Much of the Court’s analysis points toward a prophylactic rule excluding the entire shape ...


Intellectual Property As Seen By Barbie And Mickey: The Reciprocal Relationship Of Copyright And Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

Intellectual Property As Seen By Barbie And Mickey: The Reciprocal Relationship Of Copyright And Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Some years ago, caselaw on trademark parodies and similar unauthorized “speech” uses of trademarks could have led one to conclude that the law had no sense of humor. Over time, however, courts in the US and elsewhere began to leaven likelihood of confusion analyses with healthy skepticism regarding consumers’ alleged inability to perceive a joke. These decisions did not always expressly cite the copyright fair use defense, but the considerations underlying the copyright doctrine seemed to inform trademark analysis as well. The spillover effect may indeed have been inevitable, as several of the cases in which the fair use defense ...


U.S. State Copyright Laws: Challenge And Potential, Marketa Trimble Jan 2017

U.S. State Copyright Laws: Challenge And Potential, Marketa Trimble

Scholarly Works

With copyright law in the United States lying primarily in the realm of federal law, the laws of the U.S. states concerning copyright do not typically attract significant attention from scholars, practitioners, and policy makers. Some recent events have drawn attention to state copyright laws – for example, litigation against a satellite radio provider for infringement of state common-law public performance rights in pre-1972 sound recordings. However, in general, state copyright laws remain largely in the shadow of federal copyright law, and state law is typically not viewed as a particularly useful vehicle for pursuing the policies that copyright law ...


How Oracle Erred: Functionality, Useful Articles, And The Future Of Computer Copyright, Wendy J. Gordon Apr 2016

How Oracle Erred: Functionality, Useful Articles, And The Future Of Computer Copyright, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle v. Google (2015), the Federal Circuit addressed whether the " method header " components of a dominant computer program were uncopyrightable as " merging " with the headers' ideas or function. Google had copied the headers to ease the ability of third-party programmers to interact with Google's Android platform. The court rebuffed the copyrightability challenge; it reasoned that because the plaintiff's expression might have been written in alternative forms, there was no " merger " of idea and expression. But the Oracle court may have been asking the wrong question. In Lotus v. Borland (1995), the owner of a dominant spreadsheet program ...


Common Knowledge: Epistemology And The Beginnings Of Copyright Law, Jonathan Scott Enderle Mar 2016

Common Knowledge: Epistemology And The Beginnings Of Copyright Law, Jonathan Scott Enderle

Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Literary critics’ engagement with copyright law has often emphasized ontological questions about the relation between idealized texts and their material embodiments. This essay turns toward a different set of questions—about the role of texts in the communication of knowledge. Developing an alternative intellectual genealogy of copyright law grounded in the eighteenth-century contest between innatism and empiricism, I argue that jurists like William Blackstone and poets like Edward Young drew on Locke’s theories of ideas to articulate a new understanding of writing as uncommunicative expression. Innatists understood texts as tools that could enable transparent communication through a shared stock ...


Fair Use And The New Transformative, Brian Sites Jan 2016

Fair Use And The New Transformative, Brian Sites

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Most Moral Of Rights: The Right To Be Recognized As The Author Of One's Work, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2016

The Most Moral Of Rights: The Right To Be Recognized As The Author Of One's Work, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to secure for limited times the exclusive right of authors to their writings. Curiously, those rights, as enacted in our copyright laws, have not included a general right to be recognized as the author of one's writings. Yet, the interest in being identified with one's work is fundamental, whatever the conception of the philosophical or policy basis for copyright. The basic fairness of giving credit where it is due advances both the author-regarding and the public-regarding aspects of copyright.

Most national copyright laws guarantee the right of attribution (or "paternity"); the leading ...


"Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots": Us Copyright Protection For Applied Art, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2016

"Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots": Us Copyright Protection For Applied Art, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In copyright law, the marriage of beauty and utility often proves fraught. Domestic and international law makers have struggled to determine whether, and to what extent, copyright should cover works that are both artistic and functional. The U.S. Copyright Act protects a work of applied art "only if, and only to the extent that, its design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article." While the policy goal to separate the aesthetic from the functional is clear, courts' application of the statutory ...


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 ...


Comment With The Copyright Office Regarding A Proposed Exemption Under 17 U.S.C. Section 1201 For Software Security Research (Class 25), Candice Hoke Feb 2015

Comment With The Copyright Office Regarding A Proposed Exemption Under 17 U.S.C. Section 1201 For Software Security Research (Class 25), Candice Hoke

Law Faculty Reports and Comments

Professor Candice Hoke, Cleveland State University, and others (Douglas W. Jones, University of Iowa; Professor Deirdre Mulligan, University of California, Berkeley; Professor Vern Paxson, University of California, Berkeley;Professor Pamela Samuelson, University of California, Berkeley; Bruce Schneier Erik Stallman, Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT); comment addressing Proposed Class 25: Software Security Research and an exemption for software security research in order to promote the active research and testing efforts necessary to keep pace with evolving cybersecurity risks. Software and related access controls are increasingly embedded in a wide range of systems, from consumer goods to medical devices to infrastructure to industrial equipment ...


The Commercial Law Of Intellectual Property, David Frisch Jan 2015

The Commercial Law Of Intellectual Property, David Frisch

Law Faculty Publications

Commercial legislation and intellectual property principles are experiencing dramatic adjustment as a result of technological, social, and legislative innovation. The Commercial Law of Intellectual Property provides comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the intersection of commercial law and intellectual property rights.