Thursday, January 12, 2006

week 2: the future of copyright, part II

For Week 2, we'll be discussing two topics related to the future of copyright:

(1) Supra or super rights: Copyright holders' increasing use of rights or protection provided outside of copyright law, through technology (often called "Digital Rights Management" or "DRM"), contract (often called "end user license agreements" or "EULA," and also "shrinkwrap" licenses), and through the anti-circumvention rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For this issue, think about whether DRM, DMCA, and contract should be allowed to provide "supra" or "super" rights, in addition to and even sometimes at the expense of copyright law.

(2) The future of music: file sharing, the music industry, and alternative methods of producing music. For this issue, think about whether file sharing should be legal or illegal. Also, think about whether the music industry should change to allow more production of music outside of the major music labels.

Assigned reading

DRM, DMCA, + contract
1. Davidson & Associates v. Jung, 422 F.3d 630 (8th Cir. 2004) (excerpt by LC)
2. Sony to Settle Copy-protection suits, USA Today, Jan. 4, 2006
3. Coldplay's DRM + shrinkwrap, from Concurring Opinions blog
4. Ed Felten, Is DRM good for you? (blog post)

The future of music
1. File sharing is illegal in U.S. (comment on Grokster)
2. File sharing is legal in Canada (news report)
3. French government considers legalizing file sharing (news report)
4. Alternative forms of music production (news report)

Non-assigned, Supplemental posts (for reference)
1. "Anti-circumvention" provision, 17 USC 1201 (statute)
2. EFF's criticisms of DMCA (here) (not meant to indicate any agreement by me)

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