Copyright: Property and Copyright Originality Fixation Essay

Submitted By Jay-Green
Words: 1084
Pages: 5

Cannot copyright your name because other people have that name
Last names cannot be copyrighted because that defeats conventional wisdom, problem is originality, because originality requires a modicum of creativity, there must be some minimal level of creativity and last names simply not meet this standard

Mickey Mouse is both a trademark and a copyright


Whenever you recognize a right, there is a corresponding duty, rights are not empty, they restrict freedom of action

Copyrights are property rights, meaning that right to exclude, property rights are in rem rights (rights against the world) avail against the rest of the world

What freedom does copyright law restrict?
Restricts third party’s expression

Adaptation or derivative
Is there an upside to allowing people to copyright last names
Last names can be trademarked – trademarks only prevent commercial uses

Background of intellectual property law

Federal level

IP Law
CR law
Protects Original Expressive works
A modicum of creativity
Fixation – in a tangible medium
Protection Term: life of author + 70 years
Registration is optional, no additional action is necessary
Patent Law
Utility Patent
Functional invention
Usefulness (must be able to solve its intended purpose)
Non obviousness (not obvious to someone outside the field)
Protection term: 20 years from date of filing
Design Patents
All about aesthetics
Non-functional design elements
Protection term: 14 years form Date of issuance
TM Law
Source identifiers
Any information pertaining to the source of goods and services
Trigger of protection: Use of mark in interstate or foreign commerce
Distinctiveness – meaning that your mark is different enough from other marks that are already in existence so we compare the sight and the sound
Starrbucks is too similar to starbucks
Registration is optional – if you register you can claim your mark even before using it in commerce based on your intent to use it
Term: indefinite
As long as the mark is being used.

State level
Common law CR
This is Largely pre-empted by the federal CR Act
There may be a residual option in some cases protected under the federal act
Oral works are not protected under the federal act because it is not fixed medium, but you can get something through state common law

Trade secrets
Allows you to protect Any valuable commercial information that is not public
Prerequisite to Secrecy:
Need reasonable precautions to protect secrecy
Term: as long as information remain not known to the public

Right of Patentability
Right of publicity – right given to celebrities to commercially exploit the value of their image/personality, and even likeness
Unfair competition Under trademark – a body of law regulating business practices

Misappropriation – is like a cloud hovering over the entire area, recognized in the case INS v AP WW1
Two news agencies

The History of Anglo-American CR law

The English Crown grants a publishing monopoly to a group of London publishers and printers called: the stationers company
(Crown was worried that information will be disseminated, so grant the rights of publishing to a company that can be trusted)

1694 the monopoly expired
The company started lobbying the Crown to extend the monopoly

In 1710 the Crown decided to enact a state of Anne (first copyright act in Anglo-American world) – printed books
Give copyright directly to authors instead of trader companies (major change in substance)

Subject matters: printed books
Trigger: publication
List of protected rights: control reproduction
Term: 14 years (+ 14 years if author is still alive)

By the middle of the 17th Century, copyright has gained considerable purchase on the United States and shortly after the revolution, 12 states adopted copyright statutes and in 1787 in the Constitution