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Copyright
Santa Clara University School of Law
Ochoa, Tyler T.

COPYRIGHT OUTLINE     
 
I.             Introduction: The landscape of copyright
A.    Policies/Rhetorics Intertwined in the copyright debate
1.       Purpose:
a.      Establishes conditions for existence of a market and performs the allocational function of determining who gets what
b.      Creator, distributor, and consumer benefit
2.       Utilitarian/Incentive Theory conception of copyright
a.      Primarily a US view
b.      Premised on Economic reasoning
c.       Creates incentives to create in the form of legal protection so works of the mind are brought and shared with the market
                                                                                i.          Granting a monopoly right creates incentives for economic gain
3.       Natural Rights/Inherent entitlement/unjust enrichment
a.      Based on the right of authors to reap the rewards drawn from their creation – copyright protection arises automatically
4.       Why doesn’t copyright last forever?
a.      It’s unconstitutional
b.      Value in putting works in the public domain
B.      Federal Intellectual Property Law (p. 5 in text)
1.       Patent
a.      covers technological products – requires utility, novelty, nonobviousness
b.      requires disclosure for a limited monopoly
c.       granted by the federal government (USPTO)
2.       Copyright (1976 Act)
a.      protection upon fixation of original expression in any tangible medium
b.      doesn’t protect against independent creation
3.       Trademark
a.      covers words and symbols to distinguish goods and services from those of another
                                                                                i.          prevents consumer deception
                                                                              ii.          protection extend limitlessly so long as in use
b.      protection upon use
4.       State laws supplement and fill in gaps
a.      Trade secret law, state unfair competition law, non-fixed expression, right of publicity, misappropriation
II.          Prerequisites for copyright Protection – FIXATION
A.    Fixation by Copy or Phonorecord
1.       102(a), a work is incapable of protection under federal law unless it is “fixed” in a “tangible medium of expression”
a.      Fixation can take place on an infinite variety of material object, however the copyright Act defines all material objects in terms of copies and phonorecords
b.      Copy is a material object…in which a work is fixed…and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device” (a copy can be the original fixation or a reproduction)
c.       Phonorecords are object in which sounds are fixed
B.      Tangible Medium of Expression
1.       Sufficiently permanent or stable
a.      A work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord by or under the authority of the author is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived reproduced, or otherwise communicated
                                                                                i.          For a period of more than transitory duration
b.      A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted (e.g. a life broadcast) is considered fixed if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission
2.       Anti bootlegging

                                                                            ii.          Images are predictable
2.       What about RAM (the working area of the computer)
a.      Instructions are copied onto RAM while working, but are eliminated upon turning the computer off
                                                                                i.          Court has ruled that copies on RAM are sufficiently fixed
E.      State law and protection of work before fixation occurs
1.       Problem: in everyday conversation it would be difficult to discern if what someone says is meant to be property. If not labeled in some way then every time someone is quoted they can say it’s their property (Hemingway, and telling of oral stories)
a.      Fixation has evidentiary purposes
III.        Prerequisite to copyright Protection – Originality
A.    Independent Creation
1.       An original work is one that owes its origin to an author (i.e. not copied)
B.      Quantum of Originality
1.       the work must demonstrate a minimal amount of creative authorship
2.       Distinguishable variation
a.      Alfred Bell: changes in the engravings of a lithograph constitutes sufficient originality because there exists distinguishable variations (therefore the better the engraver the less likely copyright protection would ensue)
How different would the engraving have to be?