Introduction to the Law

Report
Jody Blanke, Professor
Computer Information Systems and Law
Mercer University, Atlanta
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Ilani
 Ilani, Rachael and Melissa chip in to
buy a copy of George R. R. Martin’s
novel, A Game of Thrones. They go to
a copy center, and make two
photocopies of the book. They draw
straws to see who gets to keep the
book and who gets stuck with the
photocopy. The scheme works so well
that they decide to do the same thing
with their Educational Psychology
textbook.
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Copyright Law
 Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution
 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
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Copyright Act of 1790
 Applied to books, maps and charts
 Term: 14 years (renewable for 14 years)
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Copyright Act of 1976
 Applies to literary works, musical works, dramatic
works, pantomimes and choreographic works,
pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion
pictures and other audiovisual works, sound
recordings, and architectural works
 Term: life of the author plus 50 years
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Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
of 1998
 Extended the term of copyright protection to life of the
author plus 70 years
 Added 20 years of protection to existing works still
protected by copyright
 Eldred v. Ashcroft (2003)
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Federal Copyright Interest
 Upon fixation in a tangible medium
 No requirement to file
 Owner has right to reproduce, sell,
rent, lease, lend, perform, display,
prepare derivative work
 Subject to some limitations or
exceptions
 “Fair use”
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Fair Use
 Section 107 of the Copyright Act
 “[T]he fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes
such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching
(including multiple copies for classroom use),
scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. In determining whether the use made of a
work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be
considered shall include—”
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Fair Use Factors
 The purpose of the use, e.g., nonprofit educational
reasons
 The nature of the copyrighted work
 The amount and substantiality of the portion used in
relation to the whole
 The effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the work
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Zack
 Zack buys a copy of the game
FIFA 13 for his computer. He
burns a copy of the CD
containing the game.
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Backup Copy
 Copyright law permits one
backup copy to be made for
archival purposes (Section
117 of the Copyright Act)
 Can you give your friend the
“backup copy”?
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License Agreement
 When you “buy” a piece of software, you actually
purchase a license for its use
 Terms can vary greatly from one license to another
 Some permit installation on more than one machine
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