Updated 9/19/16

Law 874

Seminar in Advanced Copyright Law Topics

Recommended reading


You needn’t write your paper on one of the topics we cover in the seminar; any copyright law topic is okay. In case you decide that want to write on one of the topics we’re looking at, or if you are just sufficiently intrigued to want to read more, here are some recommendations for further reading, organized by topic. They include books, articles, and Copyright Office reports.

Copyright Office Reports and Policy Studies are a mixed bag. Some of them are written in-house; others are written by outside contractors, typically law professors. Some of them are thorough, thoughtful, and even-handed. Others appear to be advocacy documents that minimize contrary policy arguments and mischaracterize conflicting authority in order to support the Office’s policy recommendations. Reasonable observers have differed as to whether the most slanted of the Reports are deliberately deceptive, or merely distorted by their authors' wishful thinking about what the law should be. Even the least reliable of the Reports, however, contains pointers to useful background material.

Fan fiction

Digital first sale

Anticircumvention and section 1201

Lots of people have written about section 1201. here is a small sample:

Copyrightable subject matter, useful articles, and Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

This topic raises large philosophical questions, like what sorts of things copyrights ought to protect, and narrow doctrinal questions, like how does a court figure out whether a particular feature of a useful article is separable from and capable of exisiting independently of the useful features. In addition, because the Star Athletica case involves the design of cheerleader uniforms, it invites us to think (again) about how copyright law should treat fashion design. Here are some articles discussing all three facets of the topic:

Music licensing

Pre-1972 sound recordings

Termination of transfers

Service provider liability and section 512

Other good books, articles, and studies on other copyright law topics: