What is copyright? What's its purpose?
For individual creators: copyright gives them exclusive rights (and money) for their work
For society: copyright provides an incentive to create, market, and distribute new works
What was the original purpose of copyright? (What did the Founders intend?)
To encourage growth in arts, ideas, sciences
Copyright should last just long enough to give people an incentive to create and innovate.
What are the interests of different parties?
Authors: To be able to express oneself creatively and to make money; concerned about integrity of the work
Corporations: To turn a profit
Readers and other members of public: Have access to a lot of quality cultural material
What would happen if there were no copyright?
What would happen if these were too much copyright?
1. How extensive is the borrowing?
The sample is so extensive that the rap group's track sounds very much like the original (Example: MC Hammer "Can't Touch This" and Rick James "Superfreak"; Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby" and Queen/David Bowie "Under Pressure"; Puff Daddy "I'll Be Missing You" and Sting/the Police's "Every Breath You Take")
The sample is mostly unrecognizable (Examples: early Public Enemy, NWA, Beastie Boys); its use does not make the new song resemble the copyrighted material)
Does the rap song harm the market for the original song?
Run DMC revived Aerosmith's career.
In what way(s) might copyright benefit society? In what ways might it cause harm?
What happened with 2 Live Crew?
How does intellectual property differ from real property?
- trademark (names/logos used in trade)
- patents (invention & technology)
- copyright (any other work created by a human)
What happens if copyright is too rigidly enforced. If all the people who own copyright start aggressively police their works, what effect will that have on the culture?
Four democratic safeguards in copyright law:
- Fair Use
- First Sale. I buy a book. If I want to lend it to ____, can Harper Collins
If I buy a CD and it sucks, can I turn around and sell it on Ebay? yes...
- Supposed to be temporary
- Idea/expression dicotomy
Who can explain idea/expression?
Let's say I write a story about a Brooklyn family and their kooky dog, Colonel, who fights crime, save kitties, and helps little old ladies get their groceries. One year later, there's a Hollywood movie about a wacky dog named Puddles who fights crime. Can I sue the author of Puddles?
Why aren't ideas copyrightable?
What impact has the digital world had on copyright?
- Makes it harder to charge for content. Since manufacturing and distributing costs nothing, people don't want to pay
- Makes it MUCH easier to plagiarize and bootleg