Last updated: 1-22-04

Advanced Copyright Law and Policy

Washington College of Law, American University

Wednesday 7:30 - 10:10 

924-001   WCL 501

Spring 2004

Professor Rob Kasunic

Office hours by appointment 


                    Jump to Class #1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14


Required Texts:

bulletJessica Litman, Digital Copyright 
bulletCato Institute, Copy Fights
bulletThe 1976 Copyright Act  17 U.S.C 101 et seq.
Note: Students may already have supplements containing title 17 from other courses that may be used. The complete text is available for purchase from the GPO at:  http://bookstore.gpo.gov (search for Circular 92) 
Stock number: 030-002-00197-7 
Title: Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, June 2003
ISBN: 0-16-067779-3

Optional texts: 

bulletPike & Fisher, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
bulletJames Lardner, Fast Forward
bullet The Digital Dilemma

Other required and recommended readings will be made available online, in handouts, or on reserve in the library. 


bullet For ideas on research topics, the many recent copyright news articles linked at: http://www.kasunic.com/news.htm may provide leads. 


bullet In addition, all students must read Pamela Samuelson's article about good legal writing before choosing a topic and are encouraged to read again it after choosing a topic: http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~pam/papers/goodwriting.html.



bulletThe grade will be composed of 75% for the research paper (including outline and draft) and 25% for class participation. All students are expected to participate in each class and each student will also lead a discussion on his or her paper topic. Students can earn a participation credit in class by demonstrating familiarity with the course materials and verbally analyzing relevant legal issues. Since the class meets only once a week, missing more than three classes may adversely affect the class participation component of the grade. 


bulletProposed paper topics due: February 18, 2003 
bulletPaper outline (including likely source material) due: March 10, 2003 
bulletPaper draft due: April 7, 2003 
bulletPaper presentations: April 14 and April 21 
bulletFinal draft due: May 15 (Final day of exam period)

Each student must complete an original research paper of at least 20 double-spaced pages, including footnotes. With my prior approval only, you may submit a longer paper (30 pages minimum) for satisfaction of the upper-level writing requirement.


Class Schedule


1     January 14    


bullet Class introduction and overview
bulletGeneral discussion of copyright law and the Copyright Office, the tensions, the current issues and possible alternative future class topics.
bulletRead: Jane Ginsburg's "Esssay -- How Copyright Got a Bad Name For Itself"


2     January 21 

Copyright Practice and Litigation:        

bulletThe exclusive rights, statutory limitations and remedies in practice
bulletFred Bouchat v. The Baltimore Ravens, Inc. and NFLP, Inc., 228 F.3d 489, 56 USPQ2d 1422 (4th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, (U.S. May 21, 2001) (No. 00-1494) -- (Liability Phase)
bulletFred Bouchat v. The Baltimore Ravens, Inc. and NFLP, Inc., 346 F.3d 514 (4th Cir. 2003). (Damage Phase)
bulletTo view the works at issue, see: http://www.kasunic.com/cert_articles.htm 
bulletYou may also want to consider a recent law review articles on the access and striking similarity issues in 13 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent.L.J. 653 (Winter 2003) and in 9 Vill. Sports & Ent. L Forum 97 (2002).


3     January 28

The Balance in Copyright:        

bulletFair Use review and application to technology: Discussion and review of Section 107 
bulletApplication to the Internet environment: Kelly v. Arriba Soft,  336 F.3d 811 (2003) which was substituted for the prior opinion at 280 F.3d 934 (9th Cir. 2002)
bullet Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 104 S.Ct. 774 (1984) -- read closely for an understanding of the specific facts and holding. Since this case is relied on in many of the recent P2P cases and Digital Video Recorder cases, a careful reading will be necessary for the next class as well. 

Highly Recommended

bullet David Nimmer's article "Fairest of them all" and Other Fairy Tales of the Fair Use Factors"
bullet James Lardner's "Fast Forward: A Machine and the Commotion It Caused" is an excellent book on the background and events surrounding the Sony Betamax's development and litigation (On Reserve at the Law Library)


4     February 4         

Peer-to-Peer Litigation

bulletRead the Ninth Circuit decision in A&M Records v. Napster, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001) parts I (the Napster System) and III (Infringement and Fair Use)
bulletRead: MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 259 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (C.D.Ca 2003) (Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment, in part, and denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment) [Also, the audio file of the oral argument before the 9th Circuit is available here (choose audio file # 03-55894)
bulletIn re Aimster Copyright Litig., 334 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2003)


bulletFor additional information you can take a look at the EFF site's P2P directories on Napster, Grokster, Morpheus and Kazaa and the Paramount v. ReplayTV directory and Newmark v. Turner
bulletSee also, CNET coverage of the P2P developments


5     February 11       

Policy Choices and Legislative Reactions to P2Ps:

bulletDigital Copyright pp. 151-170
bulletCopy Fights, pp. 107-124, 185-188, and 197-220

Self-help -- H.R. 5211 and spoofing 


Government standards/broadcast flags: FCC Rulemaking, S. 2048Antipiracy plan takes shape


The market effect: Listen's Rhapsody, Apple's iTunes, Pressplay, Musicnet and other licensed services


Deterence and Education: H.R. 2517


Anonymity and subpoenas: Register of Copyrights testimony

Optional considerations:


Neil Netanel's proposed levy system


Lon Sobel's proposal of ISPs as Digital Retailers


6     February 18 and   7  February 25

Proposed Paper Topics Due   

Limitations on liability relating to materials online and the DMCA's Section 512:

bullet RIAA v. Verizon decision, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 25735 (DCC 2003)
bulletEllison v. Robertson, 9th Circuit opinion (February 10, 2004) [the district court opinion is available at: Ellison v. Robertson, 189 F. Supp. 2d 1051 (C.D. CA 2002)]
bulletThe Copyright Office's summary of the DMCA ( Read pp. 8-13)
bulletDigital Copyright pp. 89-121
bulletRead sections with headings on direct, contributory and vicarious liability in Religious Technology v. Netcom Online Communication Services, 907 F. Supp. 1361 (C.D. Cal 1995)
bulletThe 9th Circuit Napster decision (focus on the facts and 512 defense in section VI.b
bulletThe FatWallet.com story and another and the Chilling Effects site 

Recommended additional reading:

bullet ALSscan v. Remarq, 239 F.3d 619 (4th Cir. 2001)
bulletCostar v. Loopnet, 164 F. Supp 2d 688 (D. Md. 2001)
bulletHendrickson v. eBay, Inc., 165 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (C.D. Ca 2001) or (here)
bullet Arnold Lutzker, et al., Highlights of New Copyright Provision Establishing Limitation of Liability for Online Service Providers


8     March 3     

Section 104 Study Digital First Sale, buffer copies, and backups

bulletRead The Executive Summary of the 104 Study or here
bulletYou might want to look at public comments or testimony at the Office's hearing at the Study page


March 10 -- Spring Break


9     March 17   

Paper outline due

The Legislative Process generally and the legislative history of the DMCA 

bulletJessica Litman's, Digital Copyright pp. Skim pages 11 - 88, Read pp. 122-150
bulletRead closely: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act's Section 1201 and
bulletThe Copyright Office's summary of the DMCA on Technological Protection and Copyright Management Systems


bulletDavid Nimmer's article, Appreciating Legislative History: The Sweet and Sour Spots of the DMCA's Commentary      


10     March 24   

The Litigation under Section 1201

bulletUniversal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d 346 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)
bullet321 Studios v. MGM Studios, Inc., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2771 (N.D. Ca. 2/19/04).


bulletFelten v. RIAA, bench decision transcript (HTML) and (PDF) and the cease and desist letter and other documents
bulletUS v. Elcom, Ltd. and Sklyarov, 203 F. Supp. 2d 1111 ( N.D. Ca. 2002: Judge White's Order denying defendant's motion to dismiss on constitutional grounds (PDF)
bulletUniversal City Studios v. Corley273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001)


11     March 31  

 Paper draft due  

The Litigation under Section 1201 (continued)

bulletThe Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20351 (N.D. Ill. August 29, 2003). 
bulletLexmark Int'l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 253 F. Supp. 2d 943 (U.S. Dist. , 2003) (this is a link to the case in the Lexis service)


bulletDan Burk's article on Anticircumvention Misuse


12     April 7         

Section 1201(a)(1) and The Copyright Office Rulemaking

bulletThe Anticircumvention Rulemaking record
bulletThe Federal Register Notice for the 2003 Rulemaking,
bulletthe 2003 Register's Recommendation summary in the FR, and 
bullet2000 Register's Recommendation to the Librarian of Congress


bulletThe Full Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights
bullet For further information about DRM issues: Berkeley's 2003 Digital Rights Management Conference Online Resource page


13     April 14         

        ** Required Student Paper Presentations **


14     April 21       

          ** Required Student Paper Presentations **


May 7-10     All Student Papers Due! 

Graduating Senior are requested to turn their papers in by May 7th since these grades are due May 12. Submissions of the papers may be accomplished electronically, however, if you want to be absolutely certain that your paper has been received on time, you may submit a hard copy to the Registrar in Room 304 on or before Saturday May 10. Students are responsible for identifying the Saturday hours of operation for Room 304. Electronic submissions of paper are due by 5:00 p.m. (and preferably before) and they should be submitted to: rkasunic@kasunic.com.  You may also cc the email to rkas@loc.gov. I will send a confirmation of all electronic submissions as soon as possible after receipt. To avoid problems, submission the day before or electronic and hard copy submission is advised.



Copyright 1999 - 2014 Robert Kasunic. All Rights Reserved. 
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