Copyright in Cyberspace
The Internet has enabled individuals to become involved in the production of media and to distribute their contributions widely at a very low cost. The former bastion of the entertainment industry is opening up to what many are calling a democratization of culture. The copyright doctrine of fair use seemingly bolsters the right to "recut, reframe, and recycle" previous works, but the protection fair use gives to those re-purposing copyrighted material is notoriously uncertain.
Digital and file-sharing technologies also spawned the proliferation of sharing of media and music, which has led to a number of controversial legal and technological strategies. The "notice-and-takedown" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") allow Internet service providers to limit their liability for the copyright infringements of their users if the ISPs expeditiously remove material in response to complaints from copyright owners. The DMCA provides for counter-notice and "put-back" of removed material, but some argue that the statutory mechanism can chill innovative, constitutionally-protected speech.
This class provides an overview of some major copyright law concepts and takes up some of the issues swirling around copyright in cyberspace.
- U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 1, "Copyright Basics" (.pdf)
- 17 U.S.C. § 107 (“Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use”)
- 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) (“Information Residing on Systems or Networks at Direction of Users”)
- Lawrence Lessig, Remix, Bloombsbury Academic (2008) (CC BY-NC 3.0), Ch. 1, "Introduction"
- Miguel Helft, "Judge Sides with Google in Viacom Video Suit," NYTimes.com (June 23, 2010)
- Jeffrey D. Neuburger, "Copyright Infringement Defendants Turn the Table on Righthaven," Mediashift (December 1, 2011)
- Steve Greenlee, "Cooks Source probably shutting down," Boston Globe CultureDesk (November 17, 2010)
- Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Albert, and Alicia Solow-Niederman, "A Close Look at SOPA," The Future of the Internet Blog (December 2, 2011)
- Cary Sherman, "What Wikipedia Won't Tell You," NY Times (February 7, 2012)
- Mike Masnick, "RIAA Totally Out of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA," TechDirt (February 8, 2012)
- Super Bust: Due Process and Domain Name Seizure
- Creative Commons: A Spectrum of Rights (comic)
- Center for Social Media, Recut, Reframe, Recyle (full report optional)
- MGM v. Grokster, 545 U.S. 913 (2005) (Sec. II, pp. 928 - 937)
- "Rowling Wins Lawsuit Against Potter Lexicon" (J. Eligon, NY Times, 9/8/08)
- New York Times Bits Blog: Mixing It Up Over Remixes and Fair Use
- EFF, Unsafe Harbors: Abusive DMCA Subpoenas and Takedown Demands
- The White House Blog: Concrete Steps Congress Can Take to Protect America's Intellectual Property
February 28: Copyright in Cyberspace Just Johnny 17:10, 15 February 2012 (UTC)