•Chris Kerich •Michelle Berman •Ud Okorafor COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

•Chris Kerich
•Michelle Berman
•Ud Okorafor
•Definition: Usage of material that is covered
by a law of some sort that prohibits the usage
without permission
•First copyright law is the Statute of Anne
•Most early ‘modern’ piracy done through
screener movies and albums
•Other kinds of copyright infringement
U.S. Government Role in Copyright
•Constitution has a section in Article 1 that
protects the intellectual property of any one for a
limited time.
•Actually specifies the power that Congress has to
accomplish this
•Copyright laws protect “original works of
•Copyright laws protect five basic rights
•Procedure for civil copyright enforcement
•Criminal penalties for copyright infringement
Supreme Court Rulings: Wheaton vs. Peters (1834)
•Full Names Henry Wheaton and Robert Donaldson v. Richard Peters and John
•1st Supreme Court case involving copyright – Chief Justice John Marshall
•Wheaton was the 3rd reporter of decisions
1.Wrote 24 volumes of carefully described decisions of the Supreme
•Peters was the successor
1.Shortened 24 to 6 volumes and did his own current work
•Reporters received a $1000 salary but was not enough to cover the cost of
publishing all of the books hence they relied on the proceeds from selling
•Rule- Gave Congress the power to give copyright protection depending on
specific conditions as opposed to strictly following the common law copyright.
Supreme Court Rulings: Dowling Vs United States (1985)
•Full Name - Paul Edmond Dowling
•Chief Justice – Warren E Burger
•William Samuel Theaker and Paul Edmond Dowling made copies of
unreleased Elvis Presley records from TV and concerts.
•Bootleg to Maryland from California – hundreds of packages per week
•Convicted of - conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate
commerce, interstate transportation of stolen property, copyright
infringement, and mail fraud
•Copies of copyrighted material are not considered stolen when dealing
with interstate transportation of property laws
1. It is more complicated than pure theft – infringement is different
Supreme Court Rulings: Dastar Corporation vs.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (2003)
•Chief Justice William Rehnquist
•Fox got exclusive rights to produce a series called Crusade in Europe
based on a book (1976)
•The show lasted 26 series and Fox didn’t renew their copyright –
became public
•Dastar bought all of the videos and copied them, shortened them and
repackaged and sold them not mentioning the original series (1995)
•Fox sued Dastar under the Lenham Act (trademark law)
•Rule- former copyright holder can’t use the Lenham Act on ideas as it is
not a good.
1. Trademark laws don’t apply to “public” products