CopyrightConstitution gives Congress the power “Topromote the Progress of Science and usefulArts, by securing for limited Times to Authorsand Inventors the exclusive Right to theirrespective Writings and Discoveries”
Sources of Copyright Law• 1976 Copyright Act• Berne Convention• Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998• 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term ExtensionAct (CTEA)
CopyrightProtects “works of authorship fixed in atangible medium”Must be sufficiently permanent to allowperception, reproduction, etc.Not protected: off-the-cuff speech,improvised skit (if not recorded)
What Can Be ProtectedLiterary works, musical works, dramatic works,pantomimes and choreographic works,pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motionpictures and other audiovisual works, soundrecordings, architectural works
Requirements• Fixed in a tangible medium• Must owe origin to the author• Must be intellectual work involved in itscreation• Must be “creative” and “novel”• Transcriptions not copyrightable• Facts/ideas not copyrightable• Slogans, titles (trademark)• Sporting events not copyrightable (butcoverage is)• Compilations not copyrightable• Unless there is creativity involved
Rights of the CopyrightHolder• (Works for hire normally owned byemployer)• Can reproduce in any form for any reason(or not)• Create derivative works• Distribute/perform/display• Others must get permission
Is Copyright TooProtective?Economic v. Cultural tension . . .SCOTUS has called copyright “the engine offree expression,” but critics say it is in manycases too protected.