➢ Copyright law comes from 17 U.S.C. §101 et. Seq.
➢ Nature of copyright law
• Purpose of copyright law:
o to stimulate the creation and dissemination of as many works of authorship as possible, in order to benefit the public. o To promote progress of science and the useful arts (science refers to © and useful arts deals with patents). o “To promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” – US Const. Article 1, §8, clause 8- “IP Clause” o Intended beneficiaries are the public, as a whole • Gives creators of works of authorship limited rights in their works. • Public Goods issue:
o Notes the difference between tangible property and intangible property. ▪ It is hard to keep people out, esp. as we continue to advance in tech. o We give creators the incentive to create.
▪ In the US the incentives are money and the bundle of rights (§106). • Idea is that if you make money, you will use it to create more artistic works. • Dichotomy is the more control we give authors, the less access the public gets. And if we give more access to the public, then we take away incentives for the authors to create. We want to have a straight balance on the “see saw” so that we have given enough rights to the authors and enough access to the public. ➢ The statutory definition
• 1976 Act provides that copyright subsists “in the original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” ➢ History of © Law:
• Knowing the history helps unravel the amendments that have added on or taken away from the original © act. • In the US, the current form of the act is the © Act of 1976. o Federal Law governs
• First © was granted in England in response to the printing press. o Crown used to use it as a tool of censorship.
o So, © was granted as a reward for censorship. • Statute of Anne
o In the 1700s, laws changed and switched from protecting the publishers to protecting the authors. o Article I §8 Clause 8: came as a response to our country adopting different versions of the Statute of Anne and the need for one big umbrella for copyright. ▪ Passed the first © Act of 1790
• 1909 Act
o Reforms began in 1955- resulting in the passage of the © Act of 1976 o Had a lot of formalities: Notice, publication, registration, filing with the Library of congress. • Copyright Act of 1976 is the statute we deal with today o It has been amended and changed a million times. o Got rid of the requirement publication requirement (registration was then voluntary), however kept the notice requirement. o Applies to works created 1/1/1978-3/1/1989
• Berne Amendments to © Act
o 3/1/1989 is the important date
o Berne Convention: 1886
▪ US joins in 1989
o Takes away the notice requirement and makes it optional. o Under §401(d) if notice is attached to the work, then there can be NO claim of innocent infringement, so notice is still important.
➢ Three criteria for protection:
• The work must be original (work of authorship)
• Be fixed in some tangible form AND
• It must consist of “expression” (rather than merely “ideas”)
• §102(a): Provides the list of examples of works of authorship, this...