Copyright Law and What It Means to a Working Journalist

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Slideshow to accompany lecture and class discussion on copyright and fair use.

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Copyright Law and What It Means to a Working Journalist

  1. 1. Intellectual property Copyright law and what itmeans to a working journalist
  2. 2. Constitutional considerations• Copyright is included in Article I, Section 8 – “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”
  3. 3. Constitutional considerations• Copyright is included in Article I, Section 8 – “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”• Where have we heard this before?
  4. 4. Constitutional considerations• Copyright is included in Article I, Section 8 – “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”• Where have we heard this before?• Article 6: Free press versus fair trial
  5. 5. Purpose of copyright• Encourage creativity for the benefit of all
  6. 6. Purpose of copyright• Encourage creativity for the benefit of all• Purpose is lost when copyright term is extended too far
  7. 7. Purpose of copyright• Encourage creativity for the benefit of all• Purpose is lost when copyright term is extended too far• Elred v. Ashcroft upheld decades-long terms
  8. 8. What can’t be copyrighted?• Information and ideas, as opposed to a specific expression of those ideas
  9. 9. What can’t be copyrighted?• Information and ideas, as opposed to a specific expression of those ideas• Titles
  10. 10. What can’t be copyrighted?• Information and ideas, as opposed to a specific expression of those ideas• Titles• Compilations of works with no creative value – Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Co. (1991)
  11. 11. Who holds copyright?• Individual creator when he or she is self- employed
  12. 12. Who holds copyright?• Individual creator when he or she is self- employed• Client when relationship is “work for hire”
  13. 13. Who holds copyright?• Individual creator when he or she is self- employed• Client when relationship is “work for hire”• Visions of online profits have tilted the balance against freelancers’ rights
  14. 14. Fair use• Allows you to use a small part of a copyrighted work without getting permission or paying compensation
  15. 15. Fair use• Allows you to use a small part of a copyrighted work without getting permission or paying compensation• Especially valuable in criticism – Text excerpts – Sound clips – Song lyrics – Art shows
  16. 16. Four elements• Purpose and character of use – Nonprofit, educational, and “transformative” uses (such as parody) are more likely to be protected by fair use than commercial uses
  17. 17. Four elements• Purpose and character of use• Nature of the copyrighted work – “Expressive” works such as fiction, poetry and music are less likely to be covered by fair use – Unpublished works are less likely to be covered by fair use – Out-of-print works are more likely to be covered by fair use
  18. 18. Four elements• Purpose and character of use• Nature of the copyrighted work• Amount and “substantiality” – Not done by word count; based more on whether the heart of the work was taken – Gerald Ford’s memoirs a good example – Boston.com’s copying of GateHouse headlines and ledes
  19. 19. Four elements• Purpose and character of use• Nature of the copyrighted work• Amount and “substantiality”• Effect on market – Most important factor – If copyright holder can be shown to have lost money, fair use is less likely to be recognized
  20. 20. Harper & Row v. Nation• All four factors cut against The Nation
  21. 21. Harper & Row v. Nation• All four factors cut against The Nation• Economic effect was especially clear
  22. 22. Harper & Row v. Nation• All four factors cut against The Nation• Economic effect was especially clear• A good decision? Or was journalism about a former president being punished?
  23. 23. The “Pretty Woman” caseRoy Orbison 2 Live Crew
  24. 24. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose• Parody enjoys strong First Amendment protection
  25. 25. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose• Parody enjoys strong First Amendment protection• Is 2 Live Crew’s remake of “Oh, Pretty Woman” “transformative”?
  26. 26. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose• Parody enjoys strong First Amendment protection• Is 2 Live Crew’s remake of “Oh, Pretty Woman” “transformative”?• Justice Souter says yes
  27. 27. MGM v. Grokster• In Sony v. Universal, the Court ruled that the VCR was legal
  28. 28. MGM v. Grokster• In Sony v. Universal, the Court ruled that the VCR was legal• Napster and similar services were shut down because of massive copyright violations
  29. 29. MGM v. Grokster• In Sony v. Universal, the Court ruled that the VCR was legal• Napster and similar services were shut down because of massive copyright violations• Grokster survived for a time because it lacked a central server
  30. 30. MGM v. Grokster• In Sony v. Universal, the Court ruled that the VCR was legal• Napster and similar services were shut down because of massive copyright violations• Grokster survived for a time because it lacked a central server• Lost because of “inducement theory”

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