In the post that inaugurated this blog back in 2012, I noted that the Copyright Act’s simple formulation–“copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression”–is never more problematic than when applied to the highly collaborative, highly derivative, and oftentimes hugely expensive and risky art and…

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As readers of this blog and my book, Unfair to Genius, must know, I am fascinated by the ways in which developments in the law sometimes shape and are sometimes shaped by developments in the arts. They will also know that I have a weakness for a good story about the colorful luminaries and rapscallions that populated the arts and the…

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I still have a Proustian experience every time I take my old vinyl copies of The Who Live at Leeds or The Mothers-Fillmore East June 1971 off the shelf.  It is not just fond memories of seeing those bands perform back in the early 70s that come flooding back.  The artless covers and handwritten labels…

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The over-arching economic problem that dogs all of American patent and copyright law is one of demarcation—when is the marginal utility of  an incentive provided to one innovator “to promote progress in science and the useful arts” outweighed by the burden it places on the creativity and economic freedom of everyone else and is therefore counterproductive?  In The…

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For more than a generation, learned monographs have poured forth from constitutional theorists who bring insights from such diverse realms as literary criticism, philosophy, linguistics, and political economy to bear on the problem of finding consistent principles for deciding constitutional disputes.  In Rethinking Patent Law, Professor Robin Feldman of the University of California’s Hastings College of Law applies similar analytic tools to patent law. …

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THIS POST CONTAINS NO SPOILERS!                                                                                                                                       A flawed, fallen hero seeking redemption, a sultry Cuban femme fatale, a corrupt cop, alternately suave and brutish, a mysterious disappearance, double-crosses, diplomatic intrigue, and the ultimate vindication of authors’ termination rights under Section 304(c)(4) of the Copyright Act—these are the things from which copyright lawyers’ dreams, and Paul Goldstein’s…

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Under the Copyright Act “copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.”   This simple formulation is never more problematic than when applied to the highly collaborative, highly derivative, and oftentimes hugely expensive and risky art and craft of film.  Who is the author?  What counts…

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