Description: This course is a study of the limited statutory monopoly granted to the creators of “original works of authorship” under the federal law of copyright. The Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, is the core of the course material. The course begins by examining the requirements for copyright protection and then moves on to explore the kinds of works that qualify for copyright protection, and the scope of rights granted to copyright owners. The balance between the limited monopoly privileges of copyright owners and the rights guaranteed to the users of copyrighted materials, through such mechanisms as the idea/expression dichotomy, compulsory licenses, and the “fair use” doctrine, are examined. The formalities of registration and notice are also studied, along with copyright duration, ownership, assignment and licensing. The controversies surrounding application of copyright law to new technologies, including computer software and the internet, is a theme that runs throughout the course.
The primary method of evaluation for this course is by examination at the end of the semester.