Intellectual Property and Fair Use Seminar

Course Catalog Number:
Course Credits:
Course Type:
Course Priority:
Seminar - 3rd Year Priority
Graduation Requirements:
Upper-Level Writing
"W" Writing
Full Year Course:

Course Description

This three-credit seminar will focus on the Fair Use doctrine as applied to copyright and trademark issues. As part of copyright jurisprudence, the fair use doctrine is the most widely used, yet often misinterpreted exemption to the exclusive rights granted under copyright law. The fair use doctrine is expressed with limited statutory guidance, and applied via a wealth of complex and occasionally contradictory interpretive case law. The digital age has seen increasing challenges to the fair use doctrine through applications of next generation technology, increasingly aggressive litigation (and litigation threats) by copyright owners and rights holders, and complex and confusing statutory changes, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the TEACH Act. Similar issues arise in trademark jurisprudence, particularly as Internet use of trademarks has eliminated traditional and geographic boundaries on trade name usage. Topics for the course will include: an introduction to fair use; justifications for fair use; fair use, copyright and free speech; photocopying, archiving and fair use; parody as fair use; piracy, anti-circumvention and fair use; fair use in the digital environment–including the Google Books settlement; and current developments in fair use jurisprudence. Other topics may be added depending on recent developments and student interest.