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February 1994


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Shari Rosenblum <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 26 Feb 1994 01:16:41 EST
text/plain (59 lines)
 For those who are interested, I have compiled a brief summary
 of the current state of copyright law.
 I think that since much of what is going on favors the
 economic rights over the educational purpose it is in
 direct contravention of the Constitution's provision.
 But our rights and privileges are subject to the Court's
 Here goes:
 Section 8, Clause 8. Patents and Copyrights
  To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
  limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their
  respective Writings and Discoveries;
 The "fair use doctrine" allows its holder "to use copyrighted
 material in a reasonable manner without the consent of the
 copyright owner."
 The 1984 Supreme Court :
 Sony Corp. of Am., Inc. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S.
 417, 454-55 (1984) (holding that an individual's private,
 noncommercial videotaping of copyrighted television programs
 for purposes of "time-shifting" constitutes fair use).
 The U.S. Code (17 U.S.C.) :
 section 101 (1991).  Copyright is vested in the original author.
 section 201 (1991).  As a general rule, newscasts are copyrighted
  as compilations with the copyright owned by the producing broadcast
 section 106(1) (1991).  "[T]he owner of the copyright has the
 exclusive rights to do and authorize any of the following:
  (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies."
 section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights:  Fair use -- determination
  of fair use includes consideration of four factors:
   "(1) the purpose and character of the use ...;
    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the
       copyrighted work as a whole;  and
    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the
       copyrighted work."
 The Supreme Court has held that the fourth factor "is undoubtedly the single
 most important element of fair use."  Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation
 Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 566 (1985).
 A recent case :  American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc., 802 F.Supp. 1,
             1992, opinion amended and supplemented (Oct 26, 1992)
 confirms and reinforces the idea that the economic factor is most important.
 -------------- Hope this helps.           Shari L. Rosenblum