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Full-Text Articles in Law

How The United States Stopped Being A Pirate Nation And Learned To Love International Copyright, John A. Rothchild Apr 2019

How The United States Stopped Being A Pirate Nation And Learned To Love International Copyright, John A. Rothchild

Pace Law Review

From the time of the first federal copyright law in 1790 until enactment of the International Copyright Act in 1891, U.S. copyright law did not apply to works by authors who were not citizens or residents of the United States. U.S. publishers took advantage of this lacuna in the law, and the demand among American readers for books by popular British authors, by reprinting the books of these authors without their authorization and without paying a negotiated royalty to them.

This Article tells the story of how proponents of extending copyright protections to foreign authors—called international copyright—finally succeeded after more …


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 of innate …


Restoring The Natural Law: Copyright As Labor And Possession, Alfred C. Yen Oct 2011

Restoring The Natural Law: Copyright As Labor And Possession, Alfred C. Yen

Alfred C. Yen

In this Article, Professor Yen explores the problems associated with viewing copyright solely as a tool for achieving economic efficiency and advocates for the restoration of natural law to copyright jurisprudence. The Article demonstrates that economics has not been solely responsible for copyright’s development and basic structure, but has rather developed along lines suggested by neutral law, despite modern copyright jurisprudence. The Article considers the consequences of extinguishing copyright’s natural law facets in favor of the blind pursuit of efficiency and concludes by exploring the implications of restoring natural law thinking to copyright jurisprudence.


The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act At Twenty: Has Full Protection Made A Difference?, David Shipley Oct 2010

The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act At Twenty: Has Full Protection Made A Difference?, David Shipley

Scholarly Works

Even though our copyright statutes were silent about architecture until 1990, it was well established that plans, blueprints and models were copyrightable writings under the 1909 Act's category of "drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character," and then as "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works" under the 1976 Act. The scope of an architect's copyright protection was, however, quite limited. The unauthorized copying of plans or blueprints constituted infringement, but most authorities concluded that plans were not infringed by using them, without the architect's permission, to construct the building they depicted. Moreover, the prevailing view was that an …


The Invention Of Common Law Play Right, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2010

The Invention Of Common Law Play Right, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

This Article explores playwrights' common law "play right." Since this conference celebrates the 300th birthday of the Statute of Anne, I begin in England in the 17th Century. I find no trace of a common law playwright's performance right in either the law or the customary practices surrounding 17th and 18th century English theatre. I argue that the nature and degree of royal supervision of theatre companies and performance during the period presented no occasion (and, indeed, left no opportunity) for such a right to arise. I discuss the impetus for Parliament's enactment of a performance right statute in 1833, …


Lawful Personal Use, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2007

Lawful Personal Use, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Despite having sued more than 20,000 of its customers,2 the recording industry wants the world to know that it has no complaint with personal use. Copyright lawyers of all stripes agree that copyright includes a free zone in which individuals may make personal use of copyrighted works without legal liability.3 Unlike other nations, though, the United States hasn't drawn the borders of its lawful personal use zone by statute.4 Determining the circumstances under which personal use of copyrighted works will be deemed lawful is essentially a matter of inference and analogy, and differently striped copyright lawyers will differ vehemently on …


Trends In Protection For Informational Works Under Copyright Law During The 19th And 20th Centuries, Miriam Bitton Oct 2006

Trends In Protection For Informational Works Under Copyright Law During The 19th And 20th Centuries, Miriam Bitton

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The debate over databases protection has failed to identify and discuss some of its most basic and preliminary assumptions, accepting instead many of the historical aspects involved as given. This Article therefore seeks to challenge these underlying assumptions by providing a fresh look at the historical dimension of the debate. One common argument regarding database protection is that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Feist v. Rural Publications Inc. brought about a dramatic change in the legal landscape, displacing the then-accepted "sweat of the brow" rationale for protecting rights in databases. This Article's historical analysis therefore thoroughly examines the treatment …


The Temporal Dynamics Of Capable Of Substantial Noninfringing Uses, R. Anthony Reese Oct 2006

The Temporal Dynamics Of Capable Of Substantial Noninfringing Uses, R. Anthony Reese

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The copyright issues raised by "dual-use" technologies--equipment that can be used both in ways that infringe copyright and in ways that do not--first gained prominence in connection with the litigation over videocassette recorders that culminated in the Supreme Court's decision in Sony in 1984. Copyright owners had asserted that Sony's manufacture and distribution of VCRs rendered it liable for copyright infringement committed by customers using their Sony VCRs. The Supreme Court in Sony concluded that copyright law did not impose such secondary liability where the device in question was capable of substantial noninfringing uses (and that the VCR was such …


The Intent Element Of Inducement To Infringe Under Patent Law: Reflections On Grokster, Lynda J. Oswald Oct 2006

The Intent Element Of Inducement To Infringe Under Patent Law: Reflections On Grokster, Lynda J. Oswald

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

In June, 2005, the United States Supreme Court set forth an "inducement" rule in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. that imposes secondary liability on "one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement." The Court emphasized the limitations of the liability standard it was setting forth, stating that the target was only "purposeful, culpable expression and conduct, and thus does nothing to compromise legitimate commerce or discourage innovation having a lawful promise." Yet, the liability standard set forth in Grokster …


Musical Musings: The Case For Rethinking Music Copyright Protection, J. Michael Keyes Apr 2004

Musical Musings: The Case For Rethinking Music Copyright Protection, J. Michael Keyes

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Article focuses on the topic of music copyright, but addresses this legal issue from a different vantage point than that of the industry insiders, insightful scholars, and policy makers that have weighed in on the debate. Instead of focusing on the issues regarding wholesale digital reproduction and dissemination of music protected by copyright, this Article focuses on music copyright infringement when the claim is that a given piece of music is "substantially similar" to another piece of music protected by copyright. Part I of this Article touches on the history of the music industry and copyright in this country, …


The Nature Of Copyright: A Law Of Users' Rights, Lydia Pallas Loren May 1992

The Nature Of Copyright: A Law Of Users' Rights, Lydia Pallas Loren

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Nature of Copyright: A Law of Users' Rights by L. Ray Patterson and Stanley W. Lindberg


Restoring The Natural Law: Copyright As Labor And Possession, Alfred C. Yen Jan 1990

Restoring The Natural Law: Copyright As Labor And Possession, Alfred C. Yen

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Yen explores the problems associated with viewing copyright solely as a tool for achieving economic efficiency and advocates for the restoration of natural law to copyright jurisprudence. The Article demonstrates that economics has not been solely responsible for copyright’s development and basic structure, but has rather developed along lines suggested by neutral law, despite modern copyright jurisprudence. The Article considers the consequences of extinguishing copyright’s natural law facets in favor of the blind pursuit of efficiency and concludes by exploring the implications of restoring natural law thinking to copyright jurisprudence.


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 process we …


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


The Rise Of The Supreme Court Reporter: An Institutional Perspective On Marshall Court Ascendancy, Craig Joyce Apr 1985

The Rise Of The Supreme Court Reporter: An Institutional Perspective On Marshall Court Ascendancy, Craig Joyce

Michigan Law Review

This Article will first explore the antecedents to, and beginnings of, the reporter system under Alexander J. Dallas and William Cranch. Next, the Article will examine the transformation of the system under the Court's first official Reporter, the scholarly Henry Wheaton. Finally, the Article will recount the struggle between Wheaton and his more practical successor, Richard Peters, Jr., that culminated in 1834 in the Court's declaration that its decisions are the property of the people of the United States, and not of the Court's Reporters.