Home Syllabus2001



Professor Rob Kasunic 

Spring 2002

Phone: (202) 707-0229 (301) 216-0491 

Email: rkasunic@kasunic.com or rkas@loc.gov

Monday and Wednesday 7:45 - 9:00

Required Texts: 

1. Brown & Denicola, Copyright, Unfair Competition, and Other Topics Bearing on the Protection of Literary, Musical, and Artistic Works (8th ed. 2002) ("Text").

2. Brown & Denicola, Statutory Supplement to Cases on Copyright (8th Ed. 2002) ("Supp.").


 Melville and David Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright;

 Goldstein, Copyright Principles, Law & Practice;

 Patry, Copyright Law and Practice.


Open-book final exam (you may bring your casebook and the statutory supplement).

Class participation will be a component of your final grade. Students are expected to be prepare for every class but, in addition, groups of students will lead individual class sessions on a rotating basis. A schedule will be circulated in the first week of class.

Any student with more than five absences must withdraw from the course.




A. Boundaries of Copyright

1. Jan. 14 Introduction to course and an overview of intellectual property law.

2. Jan. 16 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. Jan.23 "Statutory" copyright (federal) v. "common law" copyright (state); fixation under the 1976 Act and publication under the 1909 Act: Text pp. 16-35 and note on p. 193; 102, 301, 303, 101, ("copies", "fixed", "publication", and ""transmit").

B. Statutory Formalities

4. Jan. 28 Notice, deposit, and registration and the operation of the Copyright Office: Text pp. 35-48, 204, 205, 401-412, 601, 104(c), 101 ("Berne Convention Work", "best edition"," transfer of copyright ownership") and 701-710.

C. The Subject Matter of Copyright

5. Jan. 30 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. Feb. 4 Originality requirement as applied to derivative works and factual works: Text pp. 70-79 and read Hoeling v. Universal City Studios 273-278 (corrected) and Toksvig v. Bruce Publications Corp., 181 F. 2d 664 (7th Cir. 1950). ; 101 ("derivative work"), 102(a), and 103.

7. Feb. 6 Originality requirement as applied to factual works (continued) and compilations, Text pp. 81- 103 -- FeistHoeling v. Universal City Studios 273-278 (corrected) and Toksvig v. Bruce Publications Corp., 181 F. 2d 664 (7th Cir. 1950). : 101 ("collective works" and "compilation"), 102(a), and 103.

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

8. Feb. 11 Separating copyrightable "ideas" from noncopyrightable "expression", Baker v. Seldon, computer programs,: Text pp. 108-138; 102(b) and 101 ("computer program").

9. Feb. 13 Mazer v. Stein, and useful articles: Text pp. 146-181; 101 ("pictorial, graphic, sculptural works" and "useful articles") and 102. Brief discussion of Architecture, choreography and U.S. Government works: 102(a)(8), 120, and 105.

E. Copyright Infringement and the Scope of Protection

10. Feb. 18 Infringement and substantial similarity in fiction: Text pp. 202-220.

11. Feb. 20 Infringement and substantial similarity in music and visual works: Text pp. 220-251.

12. Feb 25 Infringement in visual works; Bouchat v. The Baltimore Ravens, Inc., 228 F.3d 489, 56 USPQ2d 1422 (4th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, (U.S. May 21, 2001) and substantial similarity characters and factual works: Text pp. 251-273, 278-284 (read for this class, but factual work discussion will likely be carried into next class).

13. Feb. 27 Infringement and substantial similarity in factual works and computer programs: Text pp. 284-315.

F. Ownership of Rights

14. Mar. 4 Duration and renewal of copyright; termination of transfers; application to derivative works: Text pp. 501-516 and 534 - 546; 101 ("anonymous work", "children", "created", "pseudonymous work", "transfer of copyright ownership", "widow or widower"), 203, 302, 303, 304, and 305.

15. Mar. 6 Works for hire, joint works, Reed: Text pp.546-564 101 ("joint works", and "works made for hire") and 201.

G. Limitations and Scope of Exclusive Rights of 106

16. Mar. 11 Overview of the rights of Section 106 and the limitations of these rights in Section 107 - 120; the limited rights in Sound Recordings and 114, and compulsory licenses for Musical Works in 115. Text pp. 315-318 and 564-575 and handout. Read closely 114(a), (b), and (c) and 115 (a). Read also the 101 definitions of "sound recording" and "phonorecords."

17. Mar. 13 Limitations on the rights of public performance and discussion of performance societies. Limitations on the rights of reproduction: Text pp. 318-40 and 110. Also pp. 523 534 Tasini and National Geographic.

18. Mar. 18 Distribution, display, and derivative rights: text pp. 340 -362 and 109 and 110.

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

19. Mar. 20 Overview of fair use and Section 107; fair use of factual works, Nation: Text pp. 361-388 and 107; Fair use and taping: Sony : Text pp. 388-98; 107 and discussion of the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) .

March 22- 29 SPRING BREAK!

20. April 1 Parody and First Amendment, Campbell, The Wind Done Gone, The Cat Not in a Hat, The Seinfeld Aptitude Test. Text pp. 398-416, 107.

21. April 3 Fair use and photocopying, the Guidelines, and libraries : Text pp. 419-451, 107, 108.

22. April 8 Innocent, Contributory and Vicarious Liability and the Online Liability Limitations Act of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Text pp. 451- 481 and 512

23. April 10 A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. and the Anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA: Universal v. Reimerdes/Corley, Realnetworks v. Streambox, and the Felten and Sklyarov controversies. Text pp. 481-500 and read Section 1201(a), 1201(b) and 1201(c) carefully!. 

I. Jurisdiction and Remedies

24. April 15 Jurisdiction, monetary damages and other remedies, and states' liability: Text pp. 576-596; 101 ("copyright owner"), 201(d)(2), 501-511, 602, and 603.


25. April 17 Unfair competition; federal and state trademark laws; passing off; misappropriation; federal Lanham Act; federal common law: Text pp. 597-627.

26. April 22 Unfair competition: design, appearance, and sound: Text pp. 690-712, 664-681, and 720-721.

27. April 24 Moral rights, privacy, and the right of publicity: Text pp. 750 -764, 775-797 and 805-808.

28.  April 29 Practice exam, review, and questions.


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