The Copyright Landscape: An Introduction to American Copyright Law
“As recently as 10 years ago, virtually no one was interested in copyright. Some lawyers (like David Nimmer and William Patry) devoted significant time to it, and media and entertainment companies took comfort in the security copyright provided. But neither the average Joe Citizen nor the average information professional paid much attention to copyright. It was, after all, a backwater part of the law that most folks thought concerned only legal specialists and bookish policy wonks.
“Then, all of a sudden, copyright became ‘hot.’ The Web’s development as a commercial and distribution platform sparked the flame and when entertainment and culture moved from analog to digital in the mid-nineties, copyright became – as they say in Hollywood – a player. Now, nearly a decade after massive technological, societal and commercial shifts in the way content is created, archived, distributed and protected, Big C is its own newsmaker. But despite this, surprisingly few people know anything about the Copyright Act of 1976.
“This article is designed to begin remedying this problem. It is an introduction to America’s federal copyright law, including a comparison of copyright and other forms of intellectual property, an overview of the Copyright Act of 1976, and an organizational methodology that should help the uninitiated become more comfortable with the code.
An Online exclusive.
K. Matthew Dames. “The Copyright Landscape: An Introduction to American Copyright Law.” Online. September 2006. p. 35
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