Copyright – 6613
This course provides a detailed introduction to the basic law of copyright — traditional copyright subject matter, the concept of originality and authorship, copyright transfers (and terminations of transfers), infringement, and fair use. The course coverage excludes patent law, except in brief overview, and only touches briefly upon related areas of intellectual property law, such as misappropriation, trade secret, and unfair competition law. Copyright law is now important well beyond the entertainment industry, although many of the decisions we study derive from that genre. (Humphrey Bogart, Cole Porter, George Harrison, J.D. Salinger, Superman, Mickey Mouse, and many other luminaries make cameo appearances in our cases.) Copyright (and copyright-like schemes) have increasingly become a necessary tool of the general practitioner as a result of the explosive growth in economic value of information-based products, like computer software and digital networks and databases. The lawyer ignorant of basic copyright principles will be increasingly handicapped in many areas of practice, such as negotiating technology transfers, drafting contractual rights, developing schemes of protection and privacy, distinguishing criminal from non-criminal behavior, and in litigation. But more important than all that, the cases and materials are lots of fun!