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Full-Text Articles in Law

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman Jan 2015

Campbell At 21/Sony At 31, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

When copyright lawyers gather to discuss fair use, the most common refrain is its alarming expansion. Their distress about fair use’s enlarged footprint seems completely untethered from any appreciation of the remarkable increase in exclusive copyright rights. In the nearly forty years since Congress enacted the 1976 copyright act, the rights of copyright owners have expanded markedly. Copyright owners’ demands for further expansion continue unabated. Meanwhile, they raise strident objections to proposals to add new privileges and exceptions to the statute to shelter non-infringing uses that might be implicated by their expanded rights. Copyright owners have used the resulting uncertainty …


A Material World: Using Trademark Law To Override Copyright's First Sale Rule For Imported Copies, Mary Lafrance Jan 2014

A Material World: Using Trademark Law To Override Copyright's First Sale Rule For Imported Copies, Mary Lafrance

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

When the Supreme Court held that the first sale rule of copyright law permits the unauthorized importation and domestic sale of lawfully made copies of copyrighted works, regardless of where those copies were made, copyright owners lost much of their ability to engage in territorial price discrimination. Publishers, film and record producers, and software and videogame makers could no longer use copyright law to prevent the importation and domestic resale of gray market copies, and therefore could no longer protect their domestic distributors against competition from cheaper imported copies. However, many of these copyright owners can take advantage of a …


Wag The Dog: Using Incidental Intellectual Property Rights To Block Parallel Imports, Mary Lafrance Dec 2013

Wag The Dog: Using Incidental Intellectual Property Rights To Block Parallel Imports, Mary Lafrance

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Federal law grants owners of intellectual property rights different degrees of control over parallel imports depending on the nature of their exclusive rights. While trademark owners enjoy strong control over unauthorized imports bearing their marks, their protection is less comprehensive than that granted to owners of copyrights and patents. To broaden their rights, some trademark owners have incorporated copyrighted material into their products or packaging, enabling them to block otherwise lawful imports in contravention of the policies underlying trademark law. A 2013 Supreme Court decision has significantly narrowed the importation ban of copyright law, but there may be pressure to …


Tollbooths And Newsstands On The Information Superhighway, Brad A. Greenberg Dec 2013

Tollbooths And Newsstands On The Information Superhighway, Brad A. Greenberg

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Countering the perception that speech limitations affecting distribution necessarily reduce access to information, this Essay proffers that copyright expansions actually can increase access and thereby serve important copyright and First Amendment values. In doing so, this discussion contributes to the growing literature and two recent Supreme Court opinions discussing whether copyright law and First Amendment interests can coexist.


Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi Feb 2012

Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Constitution's void-for-vagueness doctrine is itself vaguely stated. The doctrine does little to describe at what point vague laws-other than those that are entirely standardless-become unconstitutionally vague. Rather than explore this territory, the Supreme Court has identified three collateral factors that affect its inclination to invalidate a law for vagueness: (1) whether the law burdens the exercise of constitutional rights, (2) whether the law is punitive in nature, and (3) whether the law overlays a defendant-protective scienter requirement. Measured against these factors, copyright law does not meet the vagueness doctrine's minimum requirement of fair notice to the public. Copyright, by …


Three Reactions To Mgm V. Grokster, Pamela Samuelson Oct 2006

Three Reactions To Mgm V. Grokster, Pamela Samuelson

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

It was prescient of the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review to have organized a conference to discuss the Supreme Court's decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. v. Grokster, Inc. As the articles in this issue reveal, commentators have had somewhat mixed reactions to the Grokster decision. Perhaps I am the most mixed (or mixed up) about Grokster among its commentators, for I have had not just one but three reactions to the Grokster decision. My first reaction was to question whether MGM and its co-plaintiffs really won the Grokster case, or at least won it in the way they had hoped. …


21st Century Copyright Law In The Digital Domain Symposium Transcript, Symposium Panelists Oct 2006

21st Century Copyright Law In The Digital Domain Symposium Transcript, Symposium Panelists

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

21st Century Copyright Law in the Digital Domain Symposium held at Universtiy of Michigan Law School Friday, March 24, 2006


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 …


The Story Of Sony V. Universal Studios: Mary Poppins Meets The Boston Strangler., Jessica Litman Jan 2006

The Story Of Sony V. Universal Studios: Mary Poppins Meets The Boston Strangler., Jessica Litman

Book Chapters

Sony v. Universal Studios may be the most famous of all copyright cases. People who know nothing about copyright know that the Sony-Betamax case held that home videotaping of television programs is fair use. Paradoxically, although the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case to decide whether the copyright law permitted consumers to engage in private home copying of television programs, the majority ended up crafting its analysis to avoid answering that question definitively. Instead, it ruled that even if consumers sometimes violated the copyright law when they taped television programs off the air, that violation did not make the …


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.