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Copyright
University of Baltimore School of Law
McLain, Lynn

Copyright Outline
 
 
OVERVIEW OF COPYRIGHT
 
I. General
A. Example: Suppose Aaron authors a novel (or sculpture or dance or computer program). As soon as I create it, I hold “c” in the work. The “c” will last my life plus an additional 70 years. If I created this work for a company, known as a “work for hire” my employer would hold “c” for 95 years. To obtain “c” I do not need  to register the “c” w/ the Copyright Office or put notice on it (doing so does provide practical advantages though).
 
B. Exclusive Rights
            1. Reproduce the “c” work in copies or phonorecords—“reproduction right”;
            2. Prepare derivative works based on “c” work—“adaptation right”;
            3. Distribute copies of work to public by sale/transfer of ownership—“public distribution right”;
            4. Perform the work publicly—“public performance right”;
            5. Display work publicly—“public display right”
 
C. Copyrightable Subject Matter
1.. I will have “c” in the work if it is an original work of authorship, fixed in a tangible medium of expression.
2. To meet originality requirement, a work need only originate with the author and show a minimal spark of creativity.
            i. Does not apply to non-original elements in an original work.
3. To be fixed in a tangible form, one must just write it down.
 
D. Infringement/Limitations
            1. People might infringe my “c” by doing a number of things without my permission, like:
                        i. Making copies of book;
                        ii. Copying creative elements into another book;
                        iii. Making the book into a movie;
                        iv. Publicly performing a scene from the book;
                        v. Downloading the text of the novel.
            2. Limitations: but the person might also be protected by various limitations on my rights.
                        i. Certain elements may not be protected by “c” like ideas, elements not created by me.
ii. Fair Use: might permit another to write and sell unauthorized parody of my work; handing out photocopies of a chapter to a class; or reviewing in a book review.
 
            E. Termination of Grants
                                    i. Any grants made by me are subject to the right of termination.
ii. Can cancel grant around 35 years after making the grant—giving me the rights back.
                                    iii. This right of termination does not apply to works for hire.
 
            F. Duration
                        1. For my work, the duration of “c” lasts my life plus an additional 70 years.
                        2. Had I made the work for my employer it would have lasted 95 years total.
 
            G. Notice
1. Had I written the book pre-1978, I would not have had “c” simply by fixing it in a tangible medium, I would have had to published the book, and included notice. If I had published the book wi

, including reproduction of the “c” work in copies. §106.
iii. All reproductions of the work are not w/in the exclusive domain of the “c” owner; some are in the public domain.
iv. Any individual may reproduce a “c” work for fair use—the “c” owner does not possess the exclusive right to such a use. §107.
                                    -Legal Recourse:
i. Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights by trespassing into his exclusive domain by using or authorizing the use of “c” work in one of five ways set forth in §107 is considered an “infringer of the ‘c’” under §501(a).
ii. ’76 Act, and specifically §§502-505, provide owner of “c” with a potent arsenal of remedies against an infringer of his work, including:
            1. Injunction to restrain the infringer from violating his rights;
2. The impoundment and destruction of all reproductions of his work made in violation of his rights;
            3. A recovery of actual damages; and
            4. Any additional profits realized by the infringer.
 -Holding: Home time shifting is a fair use under §107 and does not infringe the copyright owner’s exclusive rights; even if such time-shifting is unauthorized.