Issues - Copyright
Shrinking the Public Domain: the Supreme Court Revisits Copyright Law
(October 24, 2011) - The October 5 oral argument in Golan v. Holder gave few clues to the outcome of the case, except that it will not be unanimous.
Silencing Music Through Copyright Law
(Sept. 12, 2009) - Music scholar Liane Curtis describes how overzealous copyright control and timorous publishers have suppressed the brilliant music of the little-known composer Rebecca Clarke.
Blanche DuBois Meets the Copyright Cops
(September 22, 2008) - Can the holder of the copyright in “A Streetcar Named Desire” stop a creative artist from impersonating Blanche DuBois, the fragile, self-deluding southern belle in Tennessee Williams’s classic play?
Victory for "First Sale" Rule in the Case of Promotional CDs
(June 18, 2008) - A judge has ruled that music companies can't stop the trade in promo CDs.
FEPP's Slide Show of Controversial and Censored Art
(May 2008) - From the erotic frescos of Pompeii to today's battles over fair use - an entertaining and informative history of censored images.
Harry Potter Lexicon Goes to Court
(March 8, 2008) - J.K. Rowling claims copyright infringement
while the Lexicon publisher argues fair use. A federal judge will
Rest is Noise
(December 22, 2007) -Alex Ross's much-admired new book raises tantalizing
questions about music, politics, and censorship (and fair use).
Music Companies Circumvent the "First Sale" Rule?
(October 8, 2007) - A music company is suing to stop
an eBay entrepreneur from selling "promo CDs" - even though
the first sale rule prevents copyright owners from restricting the future
distribution of their works.
Property and Free Speech in the Online World
(January 2007) - A new report from the Fair Use Network surveys how online
service providers are coping with cease and desist letters and takedown
the First Amendment"
(Jan. 22, 2007) - A conference sponsored by the Brennan
Center and Hofstra Law School explored the viability of a "right of access"
along with other reforms that might help democratize the mass media.
Perils of Filtering in a post-Grokster World
(November 3, 2006) - On remand from the Supreme Court's decision condemning
file-sharing networks, a judge dangerously relies on overbroad copyright
Can Play Fantasy Baseball, But Can You Google It?
(August 16, 2006) - Two current "intellectual property"
disputes threaten our favorite sit-down sports.
Censors Are Also Copyright Infringers
(July 11, 2006) - A federal court has ruled against
the fair use arguments of CleanFlicks and fellow sanitizers.
Joyce Saga: Literary Heirs & Copyright Abuse
(June 15, 2006) - A new lawsuit challenges Stephen
Joyce's efforts to control what is said about the Joyce family and the
literary works of his famous grandfather.
Big Step on "Orphan Works"
(February 9, 2006) - The U.S. Copyright Office is recommending new legislation
to encourage distribution and use of works often hidden from public view.
Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control
(December 2005) - The product of more than a year of research
- including many firsthand stories from artists, scholars, bloggers, and
others - Will Fair Use Survive? paints a striking picture of an
intellectual property system that is perilously out of balance.
Defeats - and a Silver Lining
(June 28, 2005) - The Supreme Court's Grokster
and Brand X decisions may be disappointing, but file-sharing technology
survives, and the campaign for media democracy goes on.
Tone-Deaf Approach to Music Sampling
(June 3, 2005) - The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has again ruled that
the "de minimis" rule doesn't apply to sound recordings.
(April 19, 2005) - The "Family Movie Act"
(which was passed into law shortly after this testimony was given) singles
out filmmakers for lesser copyright protection in order to encourage the
(March 28, 2005) - The Supreme Court hears argument on March 29
in the hottest case of its term - the entertainment industry's suit to
stop peer-to-peer technology. What are the legal issues, and the stakes
for online communication?
of the Court Brief Challenges Laws That Shrink the Public Domain
(January 28, 2005) - The Brennan Center and other groups
are urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to recognize that laws eliminating
copyright "formalities" harm free expression by starving the
Center and EFF Urge Court of Appeals to Recognize the Importance of "Sampling"
(January 21, 2005) - Our friend-of-the-court brief argues that the "de
minimis" rule protecting small amounts of copying is important to
(June 2004) - In the face of dramatic media consolidation and new laws
that increase corporate copyright control, the emerging information commons
offers new ways for producing and sharing information, creative works,
and democratic discussion. FEPP's policy report describes the growing
movement for democratic alternatives to for-profit control of information
Progress of Science & Useful Arts": Why Copyright Today Threatens
(2003) - Music swapping -- encryption -- the frozen public
domain -- where should we draw the line between rewarding creativity through
the copyright system and societys competing interest in the free
flow of ideas? FEPP's policy report covers "fair use," copyright
term extension, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and more - without
For More Materials on Copyright in 2001-04, go to the Archives