Copyright Resources
The place to look for official copyright sites, tutorials and references on copyright, especially as applied to multimedia and the World Wide Web.

Copyright Law Articles

A Right To Read Anonymously: A Closer Look at "Copyright Management" In Cyberspace
Author: Julie Cohen Organization: University of Pittsburgh School of Law - Adobe Acrobat document - link to download free reader is provided. From the abstract: "…the new information age is turning out to be as much an age of information about readers as an age of information for readers. … This Article focuses specifically on digital monitoring of individual reading habits for purposes of so-called "copyright management" in cyberspace, and evaluates the import of this monitoring for traditional notions of freedom of thought and expression."
Are Ideas Within the Traditional Definition of Property?: A Jurisprudential Analysis
47 Ark. L.Rev. 603 (1994)Andrew Beckerman-Rodau - Abstract: The differences between ideas and realty/tangible objects raise the question of whether ideas fit within the traditional concepts that comprise property law. To answer this question, this article will first attempt to provide a generic definition of property. The underlying policy reasons for the protection of intellectual property, including ideas, will be identified. In light of this definition and the underlying policies, the protection of ideas under state common law, trade secret law, and patent law will be examined. The article will conclude that common law idea protection, trade secret law, and patent law are all property based regimes predicated on the recognition of property rights in ideas.
Art and Music Sampling: The Death of Creativity
A transcript of a documentary and panel discussion from KPFA-FM, Berkeley, CA Panelists: "Don Joyce is a recording artist with the group Negativland, which has been sued by a large music company for copyright infringement. Bruce Hartford is secretary-treasurer of the National Writers' Union, an AFL-CIO union. He is working on a lawsuit on behalf of writers whose works are distributed digitally without payment. Bob Haslam is an attorney specializing in patent, copyright and trade secret litigation, including computer software and multimedia products."
Condemned to Repeat the Past:
The Reemergence of Misappropriation and Other Common Law Theories of Protection for Intellectual Property." Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, by Bruce P. Keller. An article on linking to content via Web page frames.
Copyright Boomerang
By Peter Wayner, Salon 21st. "A new copyright law bans tools that "circumvent" copy protections. Does that make cutting and pasting illegal?" Covers HR 2281 IH, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Dealing With Overlapping Copyrights on the Internet
Author: Mark A. Lemley Organization: University of Texas School of Law Adobe Acrobat document - link to download free reader is provided. Abstract: This article addresses the problems presented by the effective overlap of copyright's exclusive rights in the context of transmission on computer networks. Simple activities such as sending email or posting to Web pages may implicate the reproduction right, the adaptation right, the distribution right, the performance and display rights, and the new digital performance as well as triggering liability for contributory infringement and under the proposed transmission right. The article suggests that this overlap creates serious problems not only for user rights and defenses, but also for copyright owners who wish to license only a subset of their rights or who wish to divide ownership of their copyright. The article considers as possible solutions to this problem a theory of implied license, as well as a unified statutory transmission right that displaces other exclusive rights.
Fair Use Vs. Fared Use: The Impact of Automated Rights Management on Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine
Author: Tom Bell Organization: University of Dayton In this Article, Professor Bell examines the impact of new technologies on copyright's fair use doctrine. The Article examines the prospective capabilities of automated rights management technologies to monitor and track the exchange of information in digital intermedia, such as the Internet, that would enable copyright holders to bill consumers for use of their works. Professor Bell argues that these billing capabilities will cause a transformation in copyright law: a system of "fared use" will radically reduce the scope of the "fair use" defense. Upon examination of the effects of such a transformation, Professor Bell posits that a system of fared use actually may offer freer access to expressive works. Professor Bell argues that allowing copyright owners and consumers to exit copyright law and freely contract under a fared use system in time may reveal a system more beneficial than one preempted by federal copyright law. Professor Bell concludes by urging lawmakers and academics to await the emergence of new automated rights technologies and allow experimentation in the market to dictate copyright law's adaptation to such new technologies, rather than requiring new technologies to adapt to the traditional fair use doctrine.
Moral Rights and Authors' Rights: The Keys to the Information Age
Holderness M. 1998 (1) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). "Authors' moral rights, because they are poorly incorporated into UK law, are often perceived as a deeply obscure subject. Where strongly implemented in accordance with the international law of the Berne Convention, however, they provide a necessary and ready-made legal framework for the authentication of works in the new media environment."
Reforming Information Law in Copyright's Image
Author: Jessica Litman Organization: Wayne State University.Adobe Acrobat document - link to download free reader is provided. Abstract: The First Amendment has always provided a completely different standard with regard to liability for actions that constitute speech as compared to actions that constitute copyright infringement. They're really just apples and oranges. And I think it would disserve both areas of law -- I know there's been some discussion, some people have attempted to link these two areas of law recently, and I think it does a disservice to both areas of law, even though the same technologies may be involved. And I think it really does a disservice both to the law of the First Amendment and the law of copyright to attempt really to try to analogize from one to the other.
Romantic Authorship and the Rhetoric of Property
Mark A. Lemley, University of Texas, School of Law - Adobe Acrobat document - link to download free reader is provided. Abstract: "This is a review of James Boyle's new book, Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society. Boyle's book ranges across the law of information, which he argues should be treated as a unified discipline. Boyle applies his analysis of "romantic authorship" to the law of information, arguing that in copyright and elsewhere, the law gives new works too much protection because it wrongly discounts the sources on which those works necessarily build. In this review, I suggest that whatever its merits as legal argument, "romantic authorship" does not explain very much about the features of copyright law, nor why copyright protection is expanding over time. I suggest an alternative explanation: that a particular strand of law and economics scholarship that endorses strong property rights is pushing for the "propertization" of all valuable information."
Something for Everyone  
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act immunizes ISPs, while protecting copyrights and the Internet's free flow of information   By Keith Kupferschmid, Feb. 1999. Describes the protections and obligations of Internet Sevice Providers in regard to the provisions of the DMCA.
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Page updated January 31, 2005