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J3060. March 29, 2012. Edited August 27, 2012 and again in Spring 2014.

Shawn Powers

on 22 January 2015

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Transcript of Copyright

How do I defend myself from an accusation of copyright infringement?
Professor Powers, can you be more specific?

According to the Copyright Act of 1976, the following are copyrightable:
1. literary works
2. musical works
3. dramatic works
4. pantomimes and choreographic works
5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
7. sound recordings
8. architectural works

What CAN Be Protected?
The Fair Use Doctrine — e.g., Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises (1985)

Fair use includes reproduction or copies for the purpose of.... ?
What CAN NOT be protected?
For how long does copyright last?
Example: Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service (1991)
What do I get out of copyright, anyway?
Key questions:
(1) Purpose of the use
(2) Nature of the copyrighted work
(3) Substantiality of portions used
(4) Effect on the potential market

What about fan fiction?

“Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries...” (U.S. Constitution, Article I, §8, ¶8).
“In our haste to disseminate news, it should not be forgotten that the Framers intended copyright itself to be the engine of free expression. By establishing a marketable right to the use of one’s expression, copyright supplies the economic incentive to create and disseminate ideas” — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (in Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, 1985)

. Examples:
1. Style
2. Form, such as a plan
3. Works must be original, but not necessarily “novel."
1. News
2. Facts, nor alphabetic arrangement of information
3. Ideas, procedures, concepts
4. History
5. Titles, words, names, short phrases, slogans
6. Works with no fixed, tangible form
7. Works consisting entirely of information that is common property AND containing no original authorship => standard calendars, height and weight charts, etc.
8. Governmental works
9. Useful articles – works of utility whose design is generally of one style => such as chairs, clothing
First Sale Doctrine
So, how do large web portals manage this complex terrain?
1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
"Safe harbor"
Cambridge University Press et al.


"Do I retain the copyright and other legal rights to material I upload to Facebook?"
"Yes, you retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content."
"For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos, you specifically give us the following permission: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it."
Universal City Studios v. Sony Corporation of America
"Betamax" case
*Lessig (2002) article*
Full transcript