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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ip Things As Boundary Objects: The Case Of The Copyright Work, Michael J. Madison Jan 2017

Ip Things As Boundary Objects: The Case Of The Copyright Work, Michael J. Madison

Articles

My goal is to explore the meanings and functions of the objects of intellectual property: the work of authorship (or copyright work) in copyright, the invention in patent, and the mark and the sign in trademark. This paper takes up the example of the copyright work.

It is usually argued that the central challenge in understanding the work is to develop a sensible method for appreciating its boundaries. Those boundaries, conventionally understood as the metaphorical "metes and bounds" of the work, might be established by deferring to the intention of the author, or by searching for authorship (creativity or originality ...


Copyright And Good Faith Purchasers, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2016

Copyright And Good Faith Purchasers, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Good faith purchasers for value — individuals who unknowingly and in good faith purchase property from a seller whose own actions in obtaining the property are of questionable legality — have long obtained special protection under the common law. Despite the seller’s own actions being tainted, such purchasers obtain valid title themselves and are allowed to freely alienate the property without any restriction. Modern copyright law, however, does just the opposite. Individuals who unknowingly and in good faith purchase property embodying an unauthorized copy of a protected work are altogether precluded from subsequently alienating such property, or risk running afoul of ...


Lost Classics Of Intellectual Property Law, Michael J. Madison Jan 2014

Lost Classics Of Intellectual Property Law, Michael J. Madison

Articles

Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” American legal scholarship often suffers from a related sin of omission: failing to acknowledge its intellectual debts. This short piece attempts to cure one possible source of the problem, in one discipline: inadequate information about what’s worth reading among older writing. I list “lost classics” of American scholarship in intellectual property law. These are not truly “lost,” and what counts as “classic” is often in the eye of the beholder (or reader). But these works may usefully be found again, and intellectual property law scholarship would ...


Book Review -- William Patry, How To Fix Copyright, Michael J. Madison Jan 2013

Book Review -- William Patry, How To Fix Copyright, Michael J. Madison

Articles

I review William Patry’s book How to Fix Copyright. The book is noteworthy for its ambitious yet measured effort to diagnose where copyright law has gone astray in recent years. It is less successful with respect to proposing possible changes to the law. Most interesting are parallels between How to Fix Copyright and an earlier comprehensive look at copyright law in the digital era: Paul Goldstein’s Copyright’s Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox. William Patry and Paul Goldstein each have a lot of faith in the power of consumer choice in the cultural marketplace. That faith ...


Madisonian Fair Use, Michael J. Madison Jan 2012

Madisonian Fair Use, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This short essay reflects on developments in the law, scholarship, and practice of fair use since the publication in 2004 of an earlier article on patterns in fair use practice and adjudication. It synthesizes many of those developments in the idea of “Madisonian” fair use, borrowing the separation of powers metaphor from James Madison’s work on the US Constitution and applying it, lightly and in a preliminary way, to copyright.


The End Of The Work As We Know It, Michael J. Madison Jan 2012

The End Of The Work As We Know It, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This paper takes a new look at the concept of the work of authorship in copyright, known in other systems as the copyright work. It complements inquiries into authorship and originality, extending earlier scholarship on the origins of legal “things” or objects and on the multi-dimensional character of their borders and boundaries.


Knowledge Curation, Michael J. Madison Jan 2011

Knowledge Curation, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article addresses conservation, preservation, and stewardship of knowledge, and laws and institutions in the cultural environment that support those things. Legal and policy questions concerning creativity and innovation usually focus on producing new knowledge and offering access to it. Equivalent attention rarely is paid to questions of old knowledge. To what extent should the law, and particularly intellectual property law, focus on the durability of information and knowledge? To what extent does the law do so already, and to what effect? This article begins to explore those questions. Along the way, the article takes up distinctions among different types ...


Beyond Creativity: Copyright As Knowledge Law, Michael J. Madison Jan 2010

Beyond Creativity: Copyright As Knowledge Law, Michael J. Madison

Articles

The Supreme Court’s copyright jurisprudence of the last 100 years has embraced the creativity trope. Spurred in part by themes associated with the story of “romantic authorship” in the 19th and 20th centuries, copyright critiques likewise ask, “Who is creative?” “How should creativity be protected (or not) and encouraged (or not)?” and “ Why protect creativity?” Policy debates and scholarship in recent years have focused on the concept of creativity in framing copyright disputes, transactions, and institutions, reinforcing the notion that these are the central copyright questions. I suggest that this focus on the creativity trope is unhelpful. I argue ...


Creativity And Craft, Michael J. Madison Jan 2010

Creativity And Craft, Michael J. Madison

Book Chapters

I revisit the distinction between intangible works of authorship and tangible objects, which is a fundamental proposition of modern copyright law. I suggest that reconsidering that distinction, at least in part, may expand the range of possibilities for aligning modern copyright as an economic construct with the historical roots of copyright and with ethical claims about authorial expression. Revisiting that distinction also may provide contemporary lawyers and policymakers with a much-needed tool for managing challenges posed by digital technology.


Of Coase And Comics, Or, The Comedy Of Copyright, Michael J. Madison Jan 2009

Of Coase And Comics, Or, The Comedy Of Copyright, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Essay responds to There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy, by Dotan Oliar and Christopher Sprigman. It argues that case studies of disciplines and domains that may be governed by intellectual property regimes are invaluable tools for comparative analysis of the respective roles of law and other forms of social order. The Essay examines the case of stand-up comedy under a lens that is somewhat broader than the one used by the authors of the original study, one that takes into account not only the social norms of ...


Notes On A Geography Of Knowledge, Michael J. Madison Jan 2009

Notes On A Geography Of Knowledge, Michael J. Madison

Articles

Law and knowledge jointly occupy a metaphorical landscape. Understanding that landscape is essential to understanding the full complexity of knowledge law. This Article identifies some landmarks in that landscape, which it identifies as forms of legal practice: several recent cases involving intellectual property licenses, including the recent patent law decision in Quanta v. LG Electronics and the open source licensing decision in Jacobsen v. Katzer. The Article offers a preliminary framework for exploring the territories of knowledge practice in which those legal landmarks appear.


Intellectual Property And Americana, Or Why Ip Gets The Blues, Michael J. Madison Jan 2008

Intellectual Property And Americana, Or Why Ip Gets The Blues, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This essay, prepared as part of a Symposium on intellectual property law and business models, suggests the re-examination of the role of intellectual property law in the persistence of cultural forms of all sorts, including (but not limited to) business models. Some argue that the absence of intellectual property law inhibits the emergence of durable or persistent cultural forms; copyright and patent regimes are justified precisely because they supply foundations for durability. The essay tests that proposition via brief reviews of three persistent but very different cultural models, each of which represents a distinct form of American culture: The Rocky ...


Ip's Problem Child: Shifting The Paradigms For Software Protection, Jacqueline D. Lipton Jan 2006

Ip's Problem Child: Shifting The Paradigms For Software Protection, Jacqueline D. Lipton

Articles

Computer software is somewhat of a problem child for intellectual property law. Courts and legislatures have struggled to encourage innovations in software development while, at the same time, attempting to avoid undesirable digital information monopolies. Neither the patent nor the copyright system has provided a particularly satisfactory paradigm for software protection. Although patents have received greater attention than copyrights in the software context (consider, for example, the recent BlackBerry case), copyright law arguably creates more insidious undercurrents in today's marketplace. This is partly because we have not yet appreciated the potential impact of recent developments in programming methodology and ...


Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison Jan 2005

Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article initiates an account of things in the law, including both conceptual things and material things. Human relationships matter to the design of law. Yet things matter too. To an increasing extent, and particularly via the advent of digital technology, those relationships are not only considered ex post by the law but are designed into things, ex ante, by their producers. This development has a number of important dimensions. Some are familiar, such as the reification of conceptual things as material things, so that computer software is treated as a good. Others are new, such as the characterization of ...


Rewriting Fair Use And The Future Of Copyright Reform, Michael J. Madison Jan 2005

Rewriting Fair Use And The Future Of Copyright Reform, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Essay describes a social practices approach to the production of creative expression, as a construct to guide reform of copyright law. Specifically, it reimagines copyright's fair use doctrine by basing its statutory text explicitly on social practices. It argues that the social practices approach is consistent with the historical development of the fair use doctrine and with the policy goals of copyright law, and that the approach should be recognized in the text of the statute as well as in judicial applications of fair use.


Where Does Creativity Come From? And Other Stories Of Copyright, Michael J. Madison Jan 2004

Where Does Creativity Come From? And Other Stories Of Copyright, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Commentary on Lydia Pallas Loren, Untangling the Web of Music Copyrights, 53 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 673 (2003), observes that debates over a variety of copyright law issues can be - and in fact, often are - structured in narrative terms, rather than in terms of doctrine, policy, or empirical inquiry. I suggest a series of such narratives, each framed by a theme drawn from a feature film. The Commentary suggests that we should recognize more clearly the role of narrative in intellectual property discourse, and that intellectual property narratives should be examined critically.


Rights Of Access And The Shape Of The Internet, Michael J. Madison Jan 2003

Rights Of Access And The Shape Of The Internet, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article reviews recent developments in the law of access to information, that is, cases involving click-through agreements, the doctrine of trespass to chattels, the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and civil claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Though the objects of these different doctrines substantially overlap, the different doctrines yield different presumptions regarding the respective rights of information owners and information consumers. The Article reviews those presumptions in light of different metaphorical premises on which courts rely: Internet-as-place, in the trespass, DMCA, and CFAA contexts, and contract-as-assent, in the click-through context. It argues that ...


What's My Copy Right?, Michael J. Madison Jan 2001

What's My Copy Right?, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This piece consists of an early 21st century whimsy, a dialogue that borrows and blends history and humor to illustrate some puzzles of copyright law in the context of digital technology (with references to Folsom v. Marsh and Abbott & Costello).


Complexity And Copyright In Contradiction, Michael J. Madison Jan 2000

Complexity And Copyright In Contradiction, Michael J. Madison

Articles

The title of the article is a deliberate play on architect Robert Venturi's classic of post-modern architectural theory, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. The article analyzes metaphorical 'architectures' of copyright and cyberspace using architectural and land use theories developed for the physical world. It applies this analysis to copyright law through the lens of the First Amendment. I argue that the 'simplicity' of digital engineering is undermining desirable 'complexity' in legal and physical structures that regulate expressive works.