Copyright Law – Spring 2012

Reading and Class Assignments How to read the Syllabus: Except as noted below, each assignment below corresponds tentatively to one class period, though the amount of material to be covered in class, the order of the assignments, and/or the contents of a particular assignment may be changed by prior announcement. Note, for example, that we will have more class meetings than there are assignments. I will make every effort to incorporate new developments in copyright law into the Syllabus, where appropriate. The page numbers listed below under “Casebook” refer to Julie E. Cohen, Lydia Pallas Loren, Ruth Gana Okediji, & Maureen A. O’Rourke, Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Third Edition 2010). “Softcover Supplement” refers to Julie E. Cohen, Lydia Pallas Loren, Ruth Gana Okediji, & Maureen A. O’Rourke, Copyright in a Global Information Economy: 2011 Case and Statutory Supplement. Within each assignment, the Syllabus notes the principal case(s) covered in the text. In addition to the assigned readings, where a case or other material refers to the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code), you are responsible for locating and reading the section(s) of the Act to which the text refers. If you do not own a copy of the Copyright Act, you can access a free, online version here.

For several of the units of reading, optional law review articles are included. Some of these are relatively short. Some are quite long. Reading some or all of them will give you a deeper picture of the current state of copyright law and policy than you will get by focusing on appellate cases and the statute alone. All of the articles are available via the University of Pittsburgh — Copyright Law course page on TWEN, at Westlaw.

I. Introduction

Optional: Stephen Breyer, The Uneasy Case for Copyright: A Study of Copyright in Books, Photocopies, and Computer Programs, 84 Harv. L. Rev. 281 (1970)

  • Class 1:  Copyright’s Institutional Settings:  Google Book Search, and the Music Industry

Read the following three articles from the New York Review of Books written by Professor Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library, together with some comments on them.  Each article is available online:

Read the following article from the New York Times Magazine about the role of so-called collecting societies in the music industry:

  • Class 2: Why Copyright? Historical Context and Introductory Problems Read Casebook 3-42 and Casebook 745-750 (NBA v. Motorola) and Casebook 303-306 (Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp.)

II. The Purposes of Copyright, as Measured by Limitations: Fair Use Optional: Michael J. Madison, A Pattern-Oriented Approach to Fair Use, 45 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1525 (2004)

  • Class 3: Cultural Interchange Casebook 529-565 (Harper & Row Publishers v. Nation Enterprises; Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.; New Era Publications Int’l v. Carol Publishing Group; Castle Rock Entertainment v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc.; Nunez v. Caribbean International News Corp.; Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Ltd.)
  • Class 4: Market Failure or “Productive Consumption”? Casebook 580-603 (Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.; A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.; American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc.)
  • Class 5: Technical Interchange Casebook 565-579 (Sega Enterprises Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc.; Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. v. Connectix Corp.; Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.)
  • Fair Use Slides

III. The Subject Matter of Copyright Law

Optional: David Nimmer, Copyright in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Authorship and Originality, 38 Hous. L. Rev. 1 (2001)

  • Class 6: Fixation Casebook 45-57 (Williams Electronics, Inc. v. Artic International, Inc.; MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc.)
  • Class 7: Originality Casebook 57-81 (Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co.; Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony; Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co.; Alfred Bell & Co. v. Catalda Fine Arts, Inc.; Meshwerks, Inc. v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.; Mannion v. Coors Brewing Co.)
  • Class 8: The Idea/Expression Distinction Casebook 81-99 (Baker v. Selden; A.A. Hoehling v. Universal City Studios, Inc.; American Dental Association v. Delta Dental Plans Association)
  • Subject Matter Slides Part 1
  • Subject Matter Slides Part 2
  • Class 9: Derivative Works and Compilations Casebook 99-116 (L. Batlin & Son v. Snyder; Entertainment Research Group, Inc. v. Genesis Creative Group, Inc.; Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co.; Roth Greeting Cards v. United Card Co.; Mason v. Montgomery Data, Inc.)
  • Subject Matter Slides Part 3
  • Class 10: Authorship Casebook 116-124 (Lindsay v. The Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel R.M.S. Titanic; Erickson v. Trinity Theatre, Inc.; Aalmuhammed v. Lee)
  • Class 11: Works Made for Hire Casebook 124-140 (Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid; Aymes v. Bonelli; Roeslin v. District of Columbia)
  • Ownership Slides

Memorandum Assignment Number One will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, February 24, 2012.

IV. Acquiring, Keeping, and Transferring Copyright

Optional: Maureen A. O’Rourke, Bargaining in the Shadow of Copyright After Tasini, 53 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 605 (2003)

  • Class 12: Mechanics of Transfers Casebook 605-644 (Asset Marketing Systems, Inc. v. Gagnon; Newe York Times Co. v. Tasini; Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Ltd. v. The Walt Disney Company; Random House v. Rosetta Books; Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. (read the version at Softcover Supplement 371-381, not the version in the Casebook); Jacobsen v. Katzer AND F.B.T. Productions v. Aftermath Records [pdf download here])
  • Transfers Slides
  • Class 13: Formalities Casebook 145-160 (Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc.)
  • Formalities Slides
  • Class 14: Duration; Renewals and Terminations of Transfers Casebook 160-189 (Eldred v. Ashcroft; Stewart v. Abend)
  • Duration Slides

V. Protected Works and Boundary Problems

Optional: Dennis S. Karjala, Distinguishing Patent and Copyright Subject Matter, 35 Conn. L. Rev. 439 (2003)

  • Class 15: Useful Articles with Pictorial, Graphic, or Sculptural Aspects Casebook 191-215 (Mazer v. Stein; Kieselstein-Cord v. Accessories by Pearl, Inc.; Carol Barnhart Inc. v. Economy Cover Corp.; Brandir International, Inc. v. Cascade Pacific Lumber Co.)
  • Class 16: Characters Casebook 257-267 (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co.; Titan Sports, Inc. v. Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.)
  • Boundaries Slides

VI. The Statutory Rights of Copyright Owners I

Optional: Lydia Pallas Loren, Untangling the Web of Music Copyrights, 53 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 673 (2003)

  • Class 17 The Elements of Infringement Casebook 289-302 (Three Boys Music Corp. v. Michael Bolton; Selle v. Gibb; Ty, Inc. v. GMA Accessories, Inc.)
  • Copying Slides
  • Class 18: The Reproduction Right Casebook 302-341 (Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp.; Arnstein v. Porter; Steinberg v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Boisson v. Banian, Ltd.; Mannion v. Coors Brewing Co.;  Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions, Inc. v. McDonald’s Corp.; Cavalier v. Random House, Inc.; Swirsky v. Carey;  Computer Associates International, inc. v. Altai)
  • Appropriation Slides

Memorandum Assignment Number Two will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, April 6, 2011.

  • Class 19: The Distribution Right Casebook 341-365 (Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas; Bobbs-Merrill Company v. Straus; Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. L’anza Research International, Inc.)
  • Distribution Slides
  • Class 20: The Right to Prepare Derivative Works, and Moral Rights Casebook 365-411 (Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc.; Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. v. RDR Books; Mirage Editions, Inc. v. Albuquerque A.R.T. Company; Lee v. A.R.T. Company; Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc; Micro Star v. FormGen, Inc.; Gilliam v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.; Lilley v. Stout; Martin v. City of Indianapolis; Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.)
  • Adaptation Slides
  • Class 21: The Public Performance and Public Display Rights Casebook 411-436 (Columbia Pictures Indus. v. Redd Horne, Inc.; Cartoon Network LP and CSC Holdings, Inc. and Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.)
  • Performance Slides

VII. The Statutory Rights of Copyright Owners II

  • Class 22: Copyright and Collective Rights Organizations: The Case of the Music Industry Casebook 436-472 (Newton v. Diamond; Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films; Arista Records, LLC v. Launch Media, Inc.)
  • Music Industry Slides
  • Class 23: Identifying Defendants Casebook 469-501 (Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc.; Fonovisa, Inc. v. Cherry Auction, Inc.; Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.; Perfect 10, Inc. v. Visa International Service Association; MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd.)
  • Class 24:  Service Providers Casebook 503-516 AND UMG Recordings v. Shelter Capital Partners [pdf download here]
  • Copyright Litigation Slides

VIII. Technological Protection and Copyright Substitutes

Optional: R. Anthony Reese, Will Merging Access Controls and Rights Controls Undermine the Structure of Anticircumvention Law, 18 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 619 (2003)

  • Class 25: The Technological Protection Debate, the DMCA, and Copyright Liability Casebook 657-692 (University City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes; Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Tech, Inc.; Lexmark International v. Static Control Components)
  • DMCA Slides

Memorandum Assignment Number Three will be distributed during the last week of class. The Assignment will be due on the last day of exams.