I. Concept and Purpose
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
The impact of technology on the world of copyright law cannot be overstated.
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
Develop familiarity with the major provisions of the U.S. copyright law,
17 U.S.C., and
Identify the recurring conflicts traditional copyright concepts encounter
C. Examine and evaluate current and potential solutions to these conflicts.
Develop analytical and communications skills to facilitate law practice
in the handling
of copyright matters.
Casebook: Joyce, Leaffer, Jaszi & Ochoa COPYRIGHT LAW,
B. Case & Statutory Supplement: __________________, 2005
Course website: Supplemental materials will be found there.
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
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
C. This is a three-hour course with both a mid-term and a final examination.
V. Student Responsibility1. The mid-term is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11 from 6:30 - 8:30D. Grades are based on the combined scores of the exams; you may improve your
p.m. in classroom 4004. To review earlier exams look at
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.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.