Copyright Outline Spring 2019.docx - COPYRIGHT u2013...

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COPYRIGHT – VERSTEEG – SPRING 2019 CLASS 1 Introductory Concepts & Context; Fixation London-Shire Records v. Doe o A claim for copyright infringement has two elements Plaintiff must demonstrate that they hold a valid copyright (an issue the defendants do not contest) Plaintiff must show that the defendant violated of one of the exclusive rights held by a copyright owner o Plaintiffs claim that “each defendant, without the permission or consent of plaintiffs, has downloaded or distributed to the public” music files to which the plaintiff holds the copyright o 2 rights reserved to the copyright holder are at issue in this case (according to 17 USC §106. Exclusive Rights in Copyrighted Works): right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords right to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale of other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending o arguments presented by movants: copyright laws require an actual dissemination of copyrighted material; merely making copyrighted material available for another person to copy is only an attempt at infringement – which is not actionable copyright owner’s rights are limited to tangible, physical objects, and purely electronic transmissions over the internet falls outside those rights o Holding: To constitute a violation of the distribution right under §106(3), the defendants’ actions must do more than “authorize” a distribution; they must actually “do” it §106(3) confers on copyright owners the right to control purely electronic distributions of their work any object in which a sound recording can be fixed is a “material object” (that includes the electronic files at issue here) the electronic files is therefore a “phonorecords” within the meaning of the statute what matters in the marketplace is not whether a material object “changes hands,” but whether, when the transaction is completed, the distribute has a material object the Court concludes that electronic file transfer fit within the definition of “distribution” of a phonorecord More intro: Plaintiffs need not prove knowledge or intent in order to make out a prima facie case of infringement Copyright is a form of legal adaptation, a response to new technologies in the reproduction and distribution of human expression – or, more precisely, to the social, cultural, and economic trends unleased by these technologies Basic philosophy of our copyright law stands in tidy opposition to the underlying vision of the “authors’ rights” statutes of civil-law countries, in Europe and elsewhere 1
COPYRIGHT – VERSTEEG – SPRING 2019 PATENT LAW is the only branch of IP in which a claimant’s rights depend wholly on a government grant first to file is entitled to patent o 3 kinds of patents: utility patent (20 years) – new, useful, nonobvious products & processes plant patent (20 years) design patent (14 y ears) o patentability is precluded if the invention would have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art

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