What is Copyright Law? US Constitution grants Congress the power: “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” Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8
How long is copyright? Where author is known: Life of author + 70 years from author’s death Where author is unknown, pseudonymous books, works made for hire: 95 years from publication or 120 from creation – whichever is shorter Is this too short? Too long? Just right?
What is protected? Work must be “fixed” Work must be original expression No ideas, procedures, processes, systems, concepts, discoveries…
What sort of rights? Exclusive rights: To reproduce copyrighted work To prepare derivative works of copyrighted work To distribute copies of copyrighted work To perform copyrighted work To display copyrighted work
Fair Use Defense Use of copyrighted works permitted for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research Even if not one of above, may be fair use if following factors weigh in favor of artist: 1. Purpose and Character: What is work used for? 2. Nature of work: What kind of work is used? 3. Amount of work: How much is used? 4. Market effect: What is the effect on the market for the copyrighted work?
Example? Bill Graham v. DK Purpose and Character: Transformative: Biography presenting a timeline with small images Nature: Original is creative and published work, but this is not determinative because new work is transformative Amount: Amount used is less because images are reduced in size; needed to use entire image because historical artifacts Market: No direct evidence of significant lost license revenue FAIR USE!
Google Library Project What’s happened since then… Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers came to a settlement! BUT, on March 22, 2011, US District Court Judge Denny Chin rejected the settlement as not “fair, adequate, and reasonable”
Google Library Project Judge Chin acknowledged that the Google Library Project had many benefits However, he is concerned that: Google exploiting orphan works (Copyright issue) Google would have monopoly over orphan works (Copyright issue) Google would have monopoly over largest digital database of books in world (Anti-trust issue) Google would be able to censor access to certain books (Censorship issue) Google would see and record what books people were accessing (Privacy issue)
Google Library Project Discussion Do you think this is an issue for the court to decide? Congress is given power to create copyright law. Should Congress decide what should be done? If purpose of copyright law is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” then should we give orphan works protection at all? Is showing “snippets” of copyrighted works fair use?