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Full-Text Articles in Law

Copyright Law And Electronic Access To Information, Jessica D. Litman Oct 1996

Copyright Law And Electronic Access To Information, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

At the same time as we have been discovering the Internet’s enormous potential to enhance access to information and revolutionize the ways libraries do business, the Internet’s high profile in popular media has made it the focus of a wide spectrum of fears about the future. This paper focuses on pending proposals to amend copyright law to enhance the control copyright owners wield over the appearance of their works on digital networks. These proposals would stifle libraries’ use of the Internet. Libraries and their supporters must participate in the copyright debate, and think creatively about new models for copyright. The …


Software Developers Want Changes In Patent And Copyright Law, David A. Burton Jun 1996

Software Developers Want Changes In Patent And Copyright Law, David A. Burton

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Most software developers do not oppose all software copyrights. There is broad support for basic copyright protection of computer programs which prohibits directly copying computer programs without the author's permission. Nearly all commercial software is copyrighted, and most programmers agree that such protection is necessary in order for software development to be profitable. However, software patents and "look and feel" copyrights go well beyond this to prohibit other programmers from independently writing even programs that are similar to the protected program. Such constraints are strongly resented by many in the software development community who long for the good old days …


Speaking Frankly About Copyright Infringement On Computer Bulletin Boards: Lessons To Be Learned From "Frank Music, Nctcom" And The White Paper, Joseph V. Myers, Iii Mar 1996

Speaking Frankly About Copyright Infringement On Computer Bulletin Boards: Lessons To Be Learned From "Frank Music, Nctcom" And The White Paper, Joseph V. Myers, Iii

Vanderbilt Law Review

Copyright law operates primarily as a strict liability, regime whenever infringing behavior constitutes a direct infringement of copyright. When behavior qualifies as an indirect infringement, gaps in copyright protection are filled by principles of contributory and vicarious liability. Although the application of these liability constructs has never been a simple matter, recent growth in the on- line industry has resulted in a dramatic confusion and divergence of views. In particular, the law is currently unclear in two important respects. First, opinions differ greatly as to whether computer bulletin board operators ("sysops") should incur liability for the infringing misdeeds of individual …


Rhetoric And Reality In Copyright Law, Stewart E. Sterk Mar 1996

Rhetoric And Reality In Copyright Law, Stewart E. Sterk

Michigan Law Review

My first objective in this article is to explore the gulf between copyright rhetoric and copyright reality. After examining copyright rhetoric, the article demonstrates how neither the need to generate creative activity nor the desire to reward deserving authors provides a plausible justification for current copyright doctrine.

Why, then, does copyright doctrine continue to expand? The concluding section suggests some answers. Interest-group politics provides an obvious answer and one well-substantiated by the history of copyright legislation. But the story does not end with interest-group politics. Instead, I suggest that the nation's elite, including its lawmakers, has a stake in believing …


The Copyright Act Of 1976 And Prejudgment Interest, Jon M. Powers Mar 1996

The Copyright Act Of 1976 And Prejudgment Interest, Jon M. Powers

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that prejudgment interest should be presumptively available on damages-plus-profits awards under section 504(b) but should not be available for statutory damages under section 504(c). Part I argues that Supreme Court precedent suggests that the explicit reference to interest found in the Patent Act does not prevent courts from awarding prejudgment interest under the 1976 Copyright Act. Part II asserts that the 1976 Copyright Act's silence regarding prejudgment interest does not represent a congressional choice to exclude this remedy and that, in the face of this silence, the underlying purposes of section 504 should determine the propriety of …


Goodbye To All That--A Reluctant (And Perhaps Premature) Adieu To A Constitutionally-Grounded Discourse Of Public Interest In Copyright Law, Peter A. Jaszi Jan 1996

Goodbye To All That--A Reluctant (And Perhaps Premature) Adieu To A Constitutionally-Grounded Discourse Of Public Interest In Copyright Law, Peter A. Jaszi

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

In this Article, Professor Jaszi suggests that there is a need to develop new, policy-grounded arguments against expansionist legislative and judicial tendencies in copyright that diminish the traditional public domain. In recent years, he contends, a new understanding of the purposes of a copyright system has emerged, which has changed the U.S. copyright discourse in support of increased proprietary rights. According to Professor Jaszi, the objective of this new understanding is to improve the competitive position of companies that have significant investments in Inventories of copyrighted works. Recognizing the Uruguay Round Amendments Act (URAA) as an episode in this new …


The Trips Agreement: Imperialistic, Outdated, And Overprotective, Marci A. Hamilton Jan 1996

The Trips Agreement: Imperialistic, Outdated, And Overprotective, Marci A. Hamilton

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

According to Professor Hamilton, the TRIPS Agreement constructs international copyright law in the image of Western, Protestant-based capitalist copyright law. She suggests that the Agreement imposes presuppositions about human value, effort, and reward that contain political, sociological, and legal ramifications. In fact, the Agreement, with its focus upon valuing individual human creative achievement, could spur further developments in Western-based human rights in the rest of the world. By transplanting Western ideas to the rest of the world, TRIPS may actually encourage anti-authoritarian revolution. She further suggests that the TRIPS Agreement seeks to establish a free market of intellectual property goods. …


U. S. Federalism And Intellectual Property, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1996

U. S. Federalism And Intellectual Property, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The federal structure of the U.S. government presents interesting questions for intellectual property. Which government, national or state, exercises regulatory authority? Or do both governments play a significant role? Questions of this order cannot be addressed unless one first analyzes what the term "intellectual property" comprehends. Intellectual property includes well-recognized regimes of exclusive rights in inventions (patents), literary, artistic and musical creations (copyrights), and trademarks. But it also covers more elusive, and evolving, interests, such as exploitation of one's personal name and image (right of publicity), trade secrets, and a generalized concern with prevention of acts amounting to unlicensed appropriation …