2018 Syllabus

Spring 2018, Thursday 3:30-5:20

This seminar focuses on the evolving and oftentimes vexing intellectual property regime of the new digital age. It will focus in-depth on copyright, fair use, remix culture, access to knowledge, technological innovations, the increasing relevance of trademarks in the new information society, the tension between creativity/creating and the intellectual property rules which either foster or inhibit it, celebrities, social media, and the new information culture of the digital age.

Grading: Class participation (20%), reading responses (40%), and final project (either in a group or individually) or paper option (40%). A total of 6 reading responses are required. Students must submit the reading response on each week’s readings before each class, but a student may submit a reading response on the previous week’s readings, subject to a “heightened scrutiny” standard.


Please note: Readings subject to change as new issues emerge during the course of the semester

(1) Introduction: Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

Tim Parks, Does Copyright Matter?, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/aug/14/does-copyright-matter/

Robin Thicke/Pharrell Lawsuit: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/robin-thicke-and-pharrell-lose-blurred-lines-lawsuit-20150310

Memes and copyright: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/09/is-the-alt-rights-use-of-pepe-the-frog-fair-use/

Apropos Appropriation, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/arts/design/richard-prince-lawsuit-focuses-on-limits-of-appropriation.html

(2) Copyright 1.0: Preliminary Issues

Burrow v. Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/111/53/case.html

Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co., https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/188/239/case.html

Bridgeport v. Dimension, http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/05a0243a-06.pdf (read just parts I & II, stopping on page 11)

Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/1930%20Nichols.pdf

Rick Ross/LMFAO Lawsuit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/rick-ross-loses-legal-claim-823841

(3) Copyright: Fair Use

Derivative works right: 17 U.S.C. Section 101 (read just the definition for “derivative work”) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101
17 U.S.C. Section 106(2): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106

Fair use statute: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107

Rogers v. Koons (Second Circuit): http://openjurist.org/960/f2d/301/rogers-v-koons

Cariou v. Prince (Second Circuit): http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/2013_Cariou.pdf

The “Wind Done Gone”, fair use, and Prior Restraint: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/26/business/wind-book-wins-ruling-in-us.html

(4) Copyright 2.0: New Technologies and Music Licensing

American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-461_l537.pdf

Viacom v. YouTube: https://cyber.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/cx/2012_Viacom.pdf

The More Money Spotify Makes, the Less Artists Get Paid: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2015/06/11/the-more-money-spotify-makes-the-less-artists-get-paid/

(5): Copyright: Miscellany (Characters, Costumes, and Industrial Design, Oh My!)

Holy Batmobile! and the Copyrightability of Characters (and Inanimate Objects?): DC Comics v. Towle, http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/09/23/13-55484.pdf

Copyrightability of Systems and Processes: Bikram’s Yoga College v. Evolution Yoga: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/10/08/13-55763.pdf

Industrial Art, “Useful Objects”, and the Patent/Copyright Divide: Brandir v. Cascade, http://openjurist.org/834/f2d/1142/brandir-international-inc-v-cascade-pacific-lumber-co-l (read only up through para 20)

Copyrightability of Clothing/Costumes: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-866_0971.pdf and Katy Perry Shark Costume Saga (read lawyer Chris Sprigman’s response to the cease and desist), http://politicalsculptor.blogspot.com/2015/02/katy-perry-law-firm-responds-and-so.html

Sequels and Derivative Works: Anderson v. Stallone, https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/collages/31817 (begin reading at para 40; Defendants are Entitled to Summary Judgment on Anderson’s Copyright Claims, stopping at para 72)

Copyright misuse: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/342/191/515519/ (skip the first part on fair use; go right to the discussion of copyright misuse after the astericks) & https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/taylor-swift-threatens-to-sue-blogger-who-connected-her-to-white-supremacists/

(6) Copyright: DRM, Anti-Circumvention, and Software

Computer Associates International v. Altai: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/1992%20Altai.pdf (Focus on the discussion of the “merger” doctrine and the “abstraction-filtration-comparison” test, as well as the discussion of “literal” and “non-literal” elements. Read up to page 19, stop at “B. The District Court Decision” (but you can skim the rest if it interests you; for those interested in our impending trade secret discussion, there is some discussion of that at the end and the interplay between trade secret and copyright law))

Read the statute that governs “digital rights management”: 17 U.S.C. Section 1201: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/1201

University City Studios v. Corley, http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/2001%20Corley%20Abridged.pdf (Read pp. 1-6; 9 (starting at II. Constitutional Challenge) – 14, stopping at B. First Amendment Challenge; then read pp. 18-19).

DRM in Cars Will Drive Consumers Crazy, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy

Keurig’s My K-Cup Retreat Shows We Can Beat DRM, http://www.wired.com/2015/05/keurig-k-cup-drm/

Jeep Hack Shows Why the DMCA Must Get out of the Way of Security Research: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/07/jeep-hack-shows-why-dmca-must-get-out-way-vehicle-security-research

(7) Trade Secrets and Design Patents

Vault with Coca-Cola Trade Secret Formula on Display, ‪http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2012/01/06/vault-with-coca-cola-trade-secret-formula-on-public-display/id=21588/‬

Metallurgical Industries v. Fourtek Inc., 790 F.2d 1195 (5th Cir. 1986)‬, http://openjurist.org/790/f2d/1195/metallurgical-industries-inc-v-fourtek-inc (read paras 1-8; 15-55)

Apple v. Samsung and a Fight For the Patents For Designs, http://www.forbes.com/sites/timsparapani/2015/08/06/apple-v-samsung-and-a-fight-over-the-patents-for-designs/

Supreme Court Gives Samsung a Reprieve in Apple Patent Case, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/technology/samsung-apple-smartphone-patent-supreme-court.html?_r=0

(8) “Classic” Patents (Utility)

In re Dembiczak (Fed. Cir. 1999), http://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=FCA&flNm=98-1498_1 (read up to page 13, stopping right before III)

Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myraid Genetics, Inc., https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-398_1b7d.pdf

Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. V. CLS Bank International, https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-298_7lh8.pdf

(9) Theorizing Intellectual Property

Amy Kapczynski, The Access to Knowledge Mobilization and the New Politics of Intellectual Property, 117 YALE L.J. 804, https://www.yalelawjournal.org/article/the-access-to-knowledge-mobilization-and-the-new-politics-of-intellectual-property (read pp. 806-
810, 821-35, 855-59)

Jack Balkin, Digital Speech and Democratic Culture: A Theory of Freedom of Expression for the Information Society, http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1239&context=fss_papers, ( read pp. 1-17; 22-55)

(10) Moral Rights

17 U.S.C. Section 106, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106A

Richard Serra “Tilted Arc” Controversy: http://www.cardozoaelj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Richard-Serra-The-Titled-Art-Controversy.pdf

Does Moral Rights Apply to Graffiti and Other “Street Art”? https://news.artnet.com/art-world/5pointz-graffiti-artists-verdict-1142822

Xiyin Tang, Copyright in the Expanded Field, http://www.hofstralawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CC.5.Tang_.FINAL2_.pdf (Read pp. 951 – 955)

Amy Adler, Against Moral Rights, 97 CAL. L. REV. 263 (2009), http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1153&context=californialawreview (Read pp. 263 – 287)

Xiyin Tang, The Artist as Brand: Toward a Trademark Conception of Moral Rights, 122 YALE L.J. (2012), http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2168986 (read pp. 220-223, 231-240, 242-244)

(11) Celebrities, Social Media, and Right of Publicity

Rogers v. Grimaldi, https://law.resource.org/pub/us/case/reporter/F2/875/875.F2d.994.88-7828.88-7826.600.601.html (only read paras 1-29; 36-41)

White v. Samsung Electronics America, 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992), http://www.law.uh.edu/faculty/mburke/Classes/Property_Current_Year/White_v_Samsung.pdf

Midler v. Ford, 849 F.2d 460 (9th Cir. 1988), https://cyber.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/1988%20Midler.pdf

No Doubt v. Activision, 192 Cal.App.4th 1018 (2011), http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20CACO%2020110215018/NO%20DOUBT%20v.%20ACTIVISION%20PUBLISHING,%20INC. (Read intro & facts, skip over procedural history; then read Discussion, stopping at B. Unfair competition claim)

Katherine Heigl Lawsuit to Explore Nature of Corporate Tweets, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/analysis-katherine-heigl-duane-reade-lawsuit-695029

Vampire Weekend’s Mutinous Muse: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/08/vampire-weekend-scandal-201008

(12) Trademarks: Getting and Losing Trademark Protection

The Aesthetic Functionality Doctrine & the Trademarking of Colors (Christian Louboutin v. YSL): http://www.alston.com/files/docs/louboutin_opinion.pdf

“Disparaging” Marks (Matal v. Tam): https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-1293_1o13.pdf

Abandonment: MLB v. Sed Non Olet Denarius, Ltd., 817 F. Supp. 1103 (S.D.N.Y. 1993)): https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tmcases/majleag.htm (read only Section III.C.1: Abandonment)

Genericide (Murphy Bed Door Co. v. Interior Sleep Systems, 874 F.2d 95 (2d Cir. 1989)): http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/1989_Murphy_Abridged.pdf (read up to page 6, stopping at “2. Unfair Competition”)

(13) Trademarks: Dilution and False Advertising

Louis Vuitton v. Haute Diggity Dog (4th Cir. 2007): http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/062267.P.pdf (read up to section IV)

Mattel Inc. v. MCA Records (9th Cir. 2002): http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1260576.html (skip Section V.)

Dallas Cheerleaders v. Pussycat Cinema (2d Cir. 1979),

Coca-Cola v. Tropicana Products (2d Cir. 1982), http://openjurist.org/690/f2d/312/coca-cola-company-v-tropicana-products-inc (read just paras 1-3; 16-22)

Ian Ayres, The Lanham Act Goes to the Movies, http://freakonomics.com/2010/04/21/the-lanham-act-goes-to-the-movies/