Home Syllabus2001


Professor Rob Kasunic

Spring 2000

  Office phone (301) 216-0491
Email:  rkasunic@kasunic.com

412      Tuesday-Thursday         7:45 - 9:00      Room 209


Required Texts:

  1. Brown & Denicola, Copyright, Unfair Competition, and Other Topics Bearing on the Protection of Literary, Musical, and Artistic Works (7th ed. 1999) ("Text").

  2. Brown & Denicola, Statutory Supplement to Cases on Copyright (7th Ed. 1999) ("Supp.").




Nimmer on Copyright ;


Goldstein, Copyright Principles, Law and Practice; 


Patry, Copyright Law and Practice.



Open-book final exam (you may bring your casebook, supplement, class notes, and an outline prepared by you, but 
you will be expected to know the assigned material and any Sections of the 1909 or 1976 Act discussed in class.
Class participation will be considered in your final grade (up to 10%). 
Any student with more than five absences must withdraw from the course.    




A.         Boundaries of Copyright

1. Introduction to course; overview of intellectual property law.  

2. Constitutional framework (Art. 1, 8 ); rationale for copyright protection;  the exclusive "bundle of rights" in copyright, limitations on rights: Text pp. 1-15; 102, 106, & 202.

 3. "Statutory" copyright (federal) v. "common law" copyright (state); fixation under the 1976 Act and publication under the 1909 Act: Text pp. 16-33 and note on p. 193; 102, 301, 303, 101, ("copies", "fixed", "publication", and ""transmit").

 B.         Statutory Formalities

4. Notice, deposit, and registration: Text pp. 34-47,    204, 205, 401-412, 601, 104(c), 101 ("Berne Convention Work", "best edition"," transfer of copyright ownership").

 C.         The Subject Matter of Copyright

5. Constitutional "writings" by constitutional "authors"; Section 102(a) categories of works of authorship; requirement of originality, Sarony and Bleistein: Art I, Sec. 8; 102(a); Text pp. 48-69.

6. Originality requirement as applied to derivative works and factual works: Text pp.  70-79 and 266-271 and read Toksvig v. Bruce Publications Corp., 181 F. 2d 664 (7th Cir. 1950). ;  101 ("derivative work"), 102(a), and 103.

7. Originality requirement as applied to factual works (continued) and compilations, Text pp. 79- 100; and Feist : 101 ("collective works" and "compilation"), 102(a), and 103.

D.         The Limits of Subject Matter: The Idea/ Expression Dichotomy and Useful Articles

8. Separating copyrightable "ideas" from noncopyrightable "expression", Baker v. Seldon, computer programs,: Text pp. 105-138;  102(b) and 101 ("computer program").

9. Mazer v. Stein, and useful articles: Text pp. 138-176;  101 ("pictorial, graphic, sculptural works" and "useful articles") and 102.

10. Useful articles continued, architecture and choreography, works by the U.S. Government: Text pp. 176-194;  101 ("Berne Convention work" subsection (5)), 102(a)(8), and 120.  

E.         Infringement and Scope of Protection  

11. Infringement and substantial similarity in fiction: Text pp. 195-213,  

12. Infringement and substantial similarity in music and visual works: Text pp. 213-228.  

13. Infringement and substantial similarity in visual works and characters: Text pp. 228-266, 106.  

14. Infringement and substantial similarity in nonfiction and computer programs:  Text pp. 266-307.

    F.         Limitations and Scope of Exclusive Rights of 106    

15. Overview of the rights of Section 106 and the limitations in Section 107 -120; the limited rights in Sound Recordings and 114, and compulsory licenses for Musical Works in 115. Text pp. 308-312, and handout. Read closely 114(a),(b), and (c) and 115 (a).

16. Limitations on the rights of public performance and reproduction: Text pp. 311-331.    

17. Distribution, display, and derivative rights: text pp. 339 360.  

  G. Limitations on the Exclusive Rights of Copyright Owners Fair Use and Section 107  

18. Overview of fair use and Section 107; fair use of factual works, Nation: Text pp. 361-388 and  107; Fair use, taping an anti-circumvention: Sony : Text pp. 388-98; 107 and 1201 skim 447 -478.

19. Parody and First Amendment, Campbell: Text pp. 398-416,  107.

    Mar. 17-26                           SPRING BREAK!

20. Fair use and  photocopying, the Guidelines, and libraries : Text pp. 416-448, 107, 108.

  H.         Ownership of Rights  

 21. Duration and renewal of copyright; termination of transfers; application to derivative works: Text pp. 479-493 and 506 - 518; 101 ("anonymous work", "children", "created", "pseudonymous work", "transfer of copyright ownership", "widow or widower"), 203, 302, 303, 304, and 305.  

22. Works for hire,  joint works, CCNV v. Reed: Text pp. 418-436  101 ("joint works", and "works made for hire") and 201, Supp. pp.326-7.  

I.          Jurisdiction and Remedies  

23. Jurisdiction, liability, remedies, and states' liability: Text pp. 449-466; 101 ("copyright owner"), 201(d)(2), 501-511, 602, and 603.


24. Unfair competition; federal and state trademark laws; passing off; misappropriation; federal Lanham Act; federal common law: Text pp. 578-601.    

25. Unfair competition: design, appearance, and sound: Text pp. 642-651, 662-674.    

26. Unfair competition: titles, and characters, pp. 674-681, 693-702, "Moral rights": Text pp. 718-732; 106A, 101("work of visual art"), 301(f).  

27. Invasion of privacy and the right of publicity: Text pp. 743-778.    

28. Practice exam, review, and questions.


May 2 & 3: Reserved for snow make-up days  

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