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South Texas College of Law Houston
Page, Phillip E.

Copyright Outline
Fall 2013 – Page
Chapter 1 – Introduction: The Landscape of Copyright
I.                    The Importance of Copyright
a.       Protects original works of authorship
b.       Covers most literary, artistic, musical works, architectural works, computer software, some databases
II.                  Copyright and Related Bodies of Law
a.       An Introduction to Copyright
                                          i.      Copyright has always been in a response to change in technology, specifically communications technology
                                         ii.      Much of what is protected is the right to use and authorize the use of copyrighted works
                                       iii.      Focus of American copyright
1.       Benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors
2.       Desirability of providing a reward to the author
3.       Incentive, bribe
a.       Concerned that absent bribe, would spend too much time doing other things
                                       iv.      European rationale
1.       Inherent right . . . natural law conclusion
2.       US and UK more money focused
a.       Some natural law concepts in US law
                                        v.      Why generous to authors?
1.       Don’t recognize protection for anyone other than author
2.       Other creative people (publisher, editor, store owner, etc.) are not worthy
                                       vi.      Why stingy to authors?
1.       Provides protection for about 95 years
2.       Balance author benefit and public benefit
a.       Convince someone to create, but public also has an interest
                                     vii.      Incentive to cultural advancement
1.       Origins in an endeavor to enrich culture, bring creative people in to do creative things
2.       But in reality, origins aren’t that cool
a.       Movable types started everything
b.       Cheaper, easier, faster, correctable way of printing
c.        Now have ability to produce thousands of copies . . . unleash idea on world in a new way
3.       Stationers Company
a.       Individuals printing stuff in UK a long time ago
b.       Crown turned over printing to Stationers
c.        Monopoly over printing
d.       Expired in 1694, then copyright law develops
b.       Federal Intellectual Property Law
                                          i.      In General
1.       All recognize property rights in intangible products of the mind
2.       Governed by federal statutes
                                         ii.      Patent Law
1.       Nothing in copyright or trademarks is similar to obviousness standard
                                       iii.      Trademark Law
c.        State Intellectual Property Law
                                          i.      Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
1.       Not preempted by federal law
                                         ii.      Other State Law Theories
1.       Largely preempted
2.       May play a role if a work is not fixed in a tangible medium of expression
3.       Extemporaneous speech, or jazz improve
III.               History of Anglo-American Copyright Law
a.       The Beginnings to Donaldson v. Beckett (1774)
                                          i.      Statute of Anne (1710)
1.       Few years after end of Stationers Company
2.       Preserved Stationers rights for 21 more years
3.       Created a type of copyright law protecting authors
4.       Bifurcated term of years
a.       After 14 can get another 14 years if ask for more time
5.       Covers printing, reprinting, and selling books
6.       Registration required for enforcement
7.       Can ask Archbishop of Canterbury to downwardly adjust amount copyright holder is charging
b.       From the Constitution to the Copyright Act of 1909
                                          i.      Art. 1, § 8, cl. 8
1.       Right to legislate regarding copyright and patent
2.       To promote the progress of science and useful arts
3.       Promote creation of knowledge to enhance public welfare
4.       Providing an economic incentive
                                         ii.      After 1776, every state (other than Delaware) had own copyright protections
                                       iii.      US Copyright of 1790
1.       Protects maps, charts, and books
2.       Modeled after Statute of Anne
3.       Term: 14 years plus a 14 year renewal
4.       Different things added over the years (i.e., drama)
5.       Only protection for published works
a.       It was copyright enforcement or nothing for a published work
c.        The 1909 Act
                                          i.      General Provisions of the 1909 Act
1.       Revision to meet modern standards
2.       New feature
a.       Copyrightable subject matter expanded to cover “all the writings of an author”
3.       Term: first term of 28, second 28 year renewal . . . 56 years total
4.       Except for works not intended for reproduction (speeches), unpublished works were not covered
a.       So there was residual protection in state copyright laws for unpublished works
5.       Copyright exists from moment of publication (earlier regime was when applied or registered for copyright)
6.       There is federal protection for speeches and sermons
                                         ii.      The 1909 Act and the Berne Convention
1.       Congress chose not to meet Berne requirements
                                       iii.      Legislative Attempts to Revise the 1909 Act
1.       Tried to add more things, like motion pictures and right to authorize performance for profit of nondramatic literary works
2.       Became obvious that Act needed a formal revision
                                       iv.      The Continuing Importance of the 1909 Act
1.       Neither the 1976 Act or subsequent revisions extends retroactive protection to domestic works
2.       The 1976 Act specifically incorporated provisions of the prior law and retained standard developed in 1909 Act cast law for issues such as originality and infringement
d.       The Copyright Act of 1976

   i.      Cable TV license, mechanical recording license, jukebox license, and public broadcasting license
                                         ii.      Subsequent Developments Under the 1976 Act
1.       Amendments made for protecting computer programs
2.       Renewals are now automatic
3.       Infringement has been criminalized
4.       Adherence to Berne
a.       Weakens strict statutory formalities
b.       Some moral rights
5.       NAFTA Adherence
a.       Foreign films no longer in public domain
6.       CTEA extended copyright for 20 more years
7.       DMCA implemented WIPO stuff and has technological protections for digitized information
                                       iii.      Trends in Copyright Legislation
1.       Interconnected world, results in adherence to more international treaties
2.       Has become more complex over last 30 years
IV.                Copyright and the Digital Challenge
a.       Looking Back
                                          i.      As a tort, make actor internalize negative externalities
                                         ii.      Copyright is similar, but other way around
1.       Creator has a positive act . . . art goes out and does “good” things (entertain, inform)
2.       Law designed to internalize the positive externalities
                                       iii.      Ways to make sure creator isn’t ripped off
1.       Law
a.       Misappropriation of value
b.       Make it unlawful to exploit without permission
2.       Contract
a.       Contract dictates payment for exploitation of material
b.       Was narrow until digitization
                                                                                                                                       i.      Could not enter contract with a lot of people
                                                                                                                                      ii.      No contract with other people that may work for someone else, hard to track down
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Now, can effectively have contract with individual users
3.       Practicalities
a.       Realistically, couldn’t enforce against a lot of people
b.       Almost no case law of someone copying an entire novel to read
4.       Results of photocopying used to not be workable
a.       Degeneration of copies