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Full-Text Articles in Law

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.


The Moral Psychology Of Copyright Infringement, Christopher Buccafusco, Dave Fagundes Jan 2016

The Moral Psychology Of Copyright Infringement, Christopher Buccafusco, Dave Fagundes

Articles

Numerous recent cases illustrate that copyright owners sue for infringement even when an unauthorized use of their work causes them no economic harm. This presents a puzzle from the perspective of copyright theory as well as a serious social problem, since infringement suits designed to remedy non-economic harms tend to stifle rather than encourage creative production. While much scholarship has critiqued copyright’s economic theory from the perspective of authors’ incentives to create, ours is the first to explore this issue from the perspective of owners’ motivations to sue for infringement. We turn to moral psychology, and in particular to ...


Discouraging Frivolous Copyright Infringement Claims: Fee Shifting Under Rule 11 Or 28 U.S.C. § 1927 As An Alternative To Awarding Attorney's Fees Under Section 505 Of The Copyright Act, David E. Shipley Jan 2016

Discouraging Frivolous Copyright Infringement Claims: Fee Shifting Under Rule 11 Or 28 U.S.C. § 1927 As An Alternative To Awarding Attorney's Fees Under Section 505 Of The Copyright Act, David E. Shipley

Scholarly Works

The United States Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons resolved a disagreement over when it is appropriate to award attorney’s fees to a prevailing defendant under section 505 of the Copyright Act, and ended a perceived venue advantage for losing plaintiffs in some jurisdictions. The Court ruled unanimously that courts are correct to give substantial weight to the question of whether the losing side had a reasonable case to fight, but that the objective reasonableness of that side’s position does not give rise to a presumption against fee shifting. It made clear that ...


Plagiarism Is Not A Crime, Brian L. Frye Jan 2016

Plagiarism Is Not A Crime, Brian L. Frye

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Copyright infringement and plagiarism are related but distinct concepts. Copyright prohibits certain uses of original works of authorship without permission. Plagiarism norms prohibit copying certain expressions, facts, and ideas without attribution. The prevailing theory of copyright is the economic theory, which holds that copyright is justified because it is economically efficient. This article considers whether academic plagiarism norms are economically efficient. It concludes that academic plagiarism norms prohibiting non-copyright infringing plagiarism are not efficient and should be ignored.


The Questionable Origins Of The Copyright Infringement Analysis, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2016

The Questionable Origins Of The Copyright Infringement Analysis, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

Central to modern copyright law is the test for determining infringement, famously developed by Judge Jerome Frank in the landmark case of Arnstein v. Porter. The “Arnstein test,” which courts continue to apply, demands that the analysis be divided into two components: actual copying – the question whether the defendant did in fact copy – and improper appropriation – the question whether such copying, if it did exist, was unlawful. Somewhat counterintuitively, though, the test treats both components as pure questions of fact, requiring that even the question of improper appropriation go to a jury. This jury-centric approach continues to influence modern copyright ...