COPYRIGHT LAW

                                            Fall 2005

                                   SYLLABUS


 

 I.   Concept and Purpose

       A.    Copyright is one form of intellectual property.  It is a statutory course which also has
              significant cases.  The course will examine all aspects of U.S. copyright law focusing
              particularly on fundamental principles and how they apply to the new technologies.
              Issues addressed include:  what works are eligible for copyright protection, what it takes
              to get a copyright, rights of the copyright owner,  term of protection, exemptions to the
              exclusive rights of the owner, licensing, copyright infringement and defenses to
              infringement.

     B.     The impact of technology on the world of copyright law cannot be overstated.  From its
              early  inception with the invention of the printing press through newer technologies
              such  as audio and videotapes, MP3 files, streaming technologies and P2P file sharing,
              copyright  law has  grown and expanded to cover works stored in newer formats.

             1.    There are some tensions, however, with how well recent legislation and court
                    decisions  are dealing WIth digital issues and with the on-going conflict between
                   copyright owners and the users of digital  works.

             2.    Some of the tensions are either caused or exacerbated by international pressures,
                    and during the course we will consider some of the international issues also.
 

II.    Goals for the Course

        A.     Develop familiarity with the major provisions of the U.S. copyright law, 17 U.S.C., and
                important cases.

        B.     Identify the recurring conflicts traditional copyright concepts encounter because of
                 technological developments.

        C.     Examine and evaluate current and potential solutions to these conflicts.

        D.     Develop analytical and communications skills to facilitate law practice in the handling
                 of copyright matters.
 

III.    Course Materials
                                      

        A.     Casebook:  Joyce, Leaffer, Jaszi & Ochoa  COPYRIGHT LAW,  6th ed.,
                2003

        B.    Case & Statutory Supplement:  __________________, 2005

        C.    Course website:  Supplemental materials will be found there.
                   http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copyright.htm
 

IV.     Format for the Course

A.    Class sessions are a mixture of class discussion based on the reading
        assignment,  analysis of hypotheticals, lecture, debate on an assigned
        cases and discussion. This  is best described as amodified Socratic
        method.
        1.     Computer displays will be used each day in class, so sit where
                can see the  screen easily and where you are most comfortable
                with the lighting.

        2.     Materials available on the web also are an integral part of the course.

B.    Class preparation is expected. As second and third year students, you know
        how  to read  and analyze the cases. Emphasis in this class is on statutory
        interpretation  and on  application of the principlesderived from assigned
        materials.

C.    This is a three-hour course with both a mid-term and a final examination.

1.    The mid-term is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11 from 6:30 - 8:30
        p.m. in classroom  4004.   To review earlier exams look at
        http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/exams-copyright.htm.
        There are also  copyright questions on  the final exam for Intellectual
        Property.   Three years of past exams are available on  that course
        website at http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/exams.htm.
        The mid-term counts 40% of the grade for the course.

2.     The final exam is December 9 at 9:00 a.m.  It will cover the remainder of
        the course not covered on the mid-term exam.

3.    For the exam you may use your textbook, statutory supplement, class notes,
       outlines from the course homepage and any outlines that you prepared.  You
       may not use any commercially prepared outlines or other materials.

D.    Grades are based on the combined scores of the exams; you may improve your
        grade  through outstanding performance in the classroom or through excellent
        participation  in the online discussion forum.

E.     The online discussion forum will facilitate your work in class, enable students to
        assist  each other and will provide a cooperative learning environment for all
        of us.
 

V.     Student Responsibility 
A.     You are expected to read the assigned material before each class and be
        prepared  to discuss the  statutes, cases, and the principles .

B.     Participate in class discussion.   Access the course discussion forum
        through the  course website..

      1.    You must contribute at least  three substantive postings during the semester.

       2.    You may also use the discussion forum  to ask me questions, but they do not
              count as your required postings.

D.     Regularly check the course website for new materials added.

E.     Class attendance is essential; this subject matter is fun but complicated. More
         than  five absences are considered excessive; when you have incurred five
         absences, you  will have to meet with me to discuss the problem.


VI.     Reading Assignments
 

A.     Reading assignments average approximately 21 pages per day, but you are
        reading  for content and not minutiae. The relevant sections in the Statutory
        Supplement should also be read.

B.     A separate chart of readings is on the course website.


VII. Office Hours

A.     I will be available most mornings and immediately after class. I am not available
        the  hour before class, i.e., 3:00-4:15 p.m. Should you need to consult with me at
        other times,  my office is in the administrative office, on the third floor of the Law
        Library. It may be necessary for you to make an appointment due to my
        administrative duties, but I will see  you as soon as possible after your request.
        Just tell my secretary that you are in my class.

B.     You may also reach me through e-mail: laura_gasaway@unc.edu.