CyberLaw pp 1-93 | Cite as

Copyright

  • Jonathan Rosenoer

Abstract

In general terms, copyright provides an author with a tool to protect a work from being taken, used, and exploited by others without permission.1 The owner of a copyrighted work has the exclusive right to reproduce it, prepare derivative works based upon it, distribute copies by sale or other transfer of ownership, to perform and display it publicly, and to authorize others to do so.2

Keywords

Mercury Income Marketing Jurassic Dium 

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References

  1. 3.
    See Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340, 359–60, 111 S.Ct. 1282, 113 L.Ed.2d 358 (1991) (rejecting argument that effort expended on creating a publication, in this case a directory, can translate into copyright protection).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See West Publ. Co. v. Mead Data Central, Inc., 799 F.2d 1219, 1226–27 (8th Cir. 1986), cert, denied, 479 U.S. 1070, 107 S.Ct. 962 (1987) (West’s arrangement of legal decisions entails enough intellectual labor and originality to receive copyright protection)Google Scholar
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  4. This argument is made by the plaintiffs in Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, No. C-95-20091 RMW (N.D. Cal. filed Feb. 8, 1995).Google Scholar
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    Notably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, has decided that a copy of a computer program loaded into RAM is “fixed” for purposes of copyright protection. MAI Sys. Corp. v. Peak Computer, 991 F.2d 511, 518–19 (9th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 114 S.Ct. 671 (1994); see also, Advanced Computer Sews. v. MAI Sys. Corp., 845 F.Supp. 356, 362–64 (E.D. Va. 1994).Google Scholar
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    See Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Serv., 907 F.Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (“Where works contain copyright notices within them, it is hard to argue that a defendant did not know the works were copyrighted.”)Google Scholar
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    17 U.S.C. § 504(c).Google Scholar
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  10. 12.
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  11. 13.
    Ibid. § 407(a).Google Scholar
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  13. 15.
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    Though this is relevant to a criminal copyright infringement prosecution. See 17 U.S.C. § 506(a); United States v. LaMacchia, 871 F.Supp. 535, 541–42 (D. Mass. 1994).Google Scholar
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    800 F.Supp. 928, 931 (E.D. Wash. 1992).Google Scholar
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    See Chapter I, part M. First Amendment, infra.Google Scholar
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    Twin Peak Prods, v. Publications Intern’l, 996 F.2d 1366, 1378 (2d Cir. 1993).Google Scholar
  35. 37.
    Despite the fact that custom, practice, and common sense reject the claim, there is support for the argument that the mere viewing of the source file is an infringingact. In MAI Sys. Corp. v. Peak Computer, 991 F.2d 511, 519 (9th Cir. 1993), cert, dis-missed, 126 L.Ed.2d 640, 114 S.Ct. 671 (1994), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the mere loading of computer software into random access memory (“RAM”) may violate copyright law. See also, Advanced Computer Sews. v. MAI Sys. Corp., 845 F.Supp. 356, 364 n.9 (E.D. Va. 1994) (collecting cases); but see Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, 907 F.Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (“In any event, users should hardly worry about a finding of direct infringement; it seems highly unlikely from a practical matter that a copyright owner could prove such infringement or would want to sue such an individual”).Google Scholar
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    See A.C.L.U. v. Reno, No. 96–1458, Slip Opinion (3rd Cir. June 11, 1996), in which the court states that “43. Web publishers have the choice to make their Web sites open to the general pool of all Internet users, or close them, thus making the information accessible only to those with advance authorization. Many publishers choose to keep their sites open to all in order to give their information the widest possible audience.”Google Scholar
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    See Lotus Dev. Corp. v. Borland Int’l, 49 F.3d 807, 815 (1st Cir. 1995), aff’d,___U.S___ (1996) (Lotus menu command hierarchy held an uncopyrightable “method of operation”).Google Scholar
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    821 F.Supp. 616, 622 (N.D. Cal. 1993), aff’d, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 130 L.Ed.2d 1129, 115 S.Ct. 1176 (1995).Google Scholar
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    Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 35 F.3d 1435, 1442 (9th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 130 L.Ed.2d 1129, 115 S.Ct. 1176 (1995).Google Scholar
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    See Salinger v. Random House, Inc., 811 F.2d 90, 94–95 (2d Cir.), cert, denied, 484 U.S. 890, 98 L.Ed.2d 177, 108 S.Ct. 213 (1987) (“The author of letters is entitled to a copyright in the letters, as with any other work of literary authorship…. The copyright owner owns the literary property rights, including the right to complain of infringing copying, while the recipient of the letter retains ownership of ‘the tangible physical property of the letter itself.’”); Meeropol v. Nizer, 560 F.2d 1061, 1070–71 (2d Cir. 1977), cert, denied, 434 U.S. 1013, 54 L.Ed.2d 756 (1978) (unauthorized incorporation into book of substantial portions of copyrighted letters written by Ethel and Julius Rosenberg).Google Scholar
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    See 18 U.S.C. §2511.Google Scholar
  48. 50.
    18 U.S.C. § 2511 (2)(a)(i); see United States v. Beckley, 259 F.Supp. 567, 571 (N.D. Ga. 1965) (“Where, as here alleged, a corrupt employee allows long distance calls to be made without charge and in a manner which bypasses the regular bookkeeping procedures of the company the only reasonable means of protection is the monitoring of such calls.”)Google Scholar
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  50. 52.
    17 U.S.C. § 204(a).Google Scholar
  51. 53.
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    E.g., the work was created in the course and scope of employment such that the employer is the “author” and owner of the copyright.Google Scholar
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    This argument is made by the plaintiffs in Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, No. C-95-20091 RMW (N.D. Cal. filed Feb. 8, 1995).Google Scholar
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    See Salinger v. Random House, Inc., 811 F.2d 90, 94–95 (2d Cir. 1987) (“The author of letters is entitled to a copyright in the letters, as with any other work of literary authorship…. The copyright owner owns the literary property rights, including the right to complain of infringing copying, while the recipient of the letter retains ownership of ‘the tangible physical property of the letter itself’”).Google Scholar
  56. 58.
    See MAI Sys. Corp. v. Peak Computer, 991 F.2d 511, 519 (9th Cir. 1993), cert. dismissed, 126 L.Ed.2d 640, 114 S.Ct. 671 (1994); Advanced Computer Servs. v. MAI Sys. Corp., 845 F.Supp. 356, 364 n.9 (E.D. Va. 1994); Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, 907 F.Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995).Google Scholar
  57. 59.
    By storing text and images in a cache, the Netscape Navigator allows a user to return to a previously viewed site without having to reload its data.Google Scholar
  58. 60.
    But as technology changes, such use may no longer be seen as fair. See American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc., 37 F.3d 881, 892 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting the District Court, the Second Circuit stated, “To the extent the copying practice was ‘reasonable’ in 1973… it has ceased to be ‘reasonable’ as the reasons that justified it before [photocopying licensing] have ceased to exist”).Google Scholar
  59. 61.
    17 U.S.C. § 506(a).Google Scholar
  60. 62.
    Ibid. § 506(b).Google Scholar
  61. 63.
    Ibid. §§ 506(c), (d).Google Scholar
  62. 64.
    Ibid. § 506(e).Google Scholar
  63. 65.
    See 18 U.S.C. § 3571, which provides for a fine of up to $250,000 for an individual, and up to $500,000 for an organization found guilty of an offense.Google Scholar
  64. 66.
    18 U.S.C. §§ 2319(b)(1), (b)(2).Google Scholar
  65. 67.
    United States v. LaMacchia, 871 F.Supp. 535 (D. Mass. 1994).Google Scholar
  66. 68.
    18 U.S.C. §1343.Google Scholar
  67. 69.
    United States v. LaMacchia, 871 F.Supp. 535, 536 (D. Mass. 1994).Google Scholar
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    Ibid., 871 F. Supp. 535, 541–42 (D. Mass. 1994).Google Scholar
  69. 71.
    Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 549, 85 L.Ed.2d 588, 105 S.Ct. 2218 (1985).Google Scholar
  70. 72.
    17 U.S.C. § 107.Google Scholar
  71. 73.
    See Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of America, Inc., 975 F.2d 832, 843 (Fed. Cir. 1992); Sega Enters, v. MAPHIA, 857 F.Supp. 679, 687 (N.D. Cal. 1994).Google Scholar
  72. 74.
    See Sega Enters, v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510, 1527–28 (9th Cir. 1992) (intermediate copying allowed to understand unprotected ideas and processes); but see West Publ. Co. v. On Point Solutions, Inc., Civ. No. 1:93-CV-2071-MHS, 1994 U.S. Dist. Lexis 20040 (N.D. Ga. 1994) (permanent injunction based, among other things, on intermediate copying of West cases scanned by On Point, with West headnotes and syllabi temporarily stored on On Point’s computers and then deleted prior to creation of On Point disks).Google Scholar
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    Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, No. C-95–20091 RMW, Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs’ Application for a Preliminary Injunction and Defendant Erlich’s Motion to Dissolve the TRO…. (N.D. Cal. filed Sept. 22, 1995).Google Scholar
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    According to the Supreme Court, it is important to note whether the new work “adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message….” Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 114 S.Ct. 1164, 1171, 127 L.Ed.2d. 500 (1994).Google Scholar
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    Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, No. C-95–20091 RMW, Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs’ Application for a Preliminary Injunction and Defendant Erlich’s Motion to Dissolve the TRO…. (N.D. Cal. filed Sept. 22, 1995).Google Scholar
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    Twin Peak Prods, v. Publications Intern’l, 996 F.2d 1366, 1378 (2d Cir. 1993).Google Scholar
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  83. 85.
  84. 86.
    17 U.S.C. § 109.Google Scholar
  85. 87.
    This rule is also known as the “first sale” doctrine.Google Scholar
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    17 U.S.C. § 109(b)(1)(A); see also Central Point Software v. Global Software & Accessories, 880 F.Supp. 957. 964 (E.D.N.Y. 1995) (“Congress intended to proscribe not only transactions that are called rentals, but also practices that are in substance rentals”).Google Scholar
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    Information Infrastructure Task Force, Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights, Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure: The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights (Sept. 1995).Google Scholar
  88. 90.
    See “NII Copyright Protection Act of 1995,” 104 S. 1284, 104 H.R. 2441.Google Scholar
  89. 91.
    See P. Samuelson, “The Copyright Grab,” Wired 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1996): 134.Google Scholar
  90. 92.
    See Sega Enters, v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510, 1527–28 (9th Cir. 1992); cf. ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg, 95-C-0671-C, 1996 U.S. Dist. Lexis 167 (W.D. Wisc. 1996) rev’d, No. 96–1139, Slip Opinion (7th Cir. June 20, 1996).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Rosenoer
    • 1
  1. 1.Arthur AndersenSan FranciscoUSA

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