Copyright Law
Learning about ... Copyright Law
     led by Peter W. Martin

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Scope and Importance

This course, offered during fall term 2000, provides an introduction to copyright law.

Copyright law has become increasingly important as the U.S. has shifted from a predominantly manufacturing economy to an information economy and as such products as software, recorded music, movies, and TV have grown to major importance as exports.

The course provides a comprehensive overview of U.S. copyright law. It begins with the substantive and procedural requirements that surround copyright protection. It proceeds to survey the rights granted copyright holders and important limits on those rights such as "fair use." How infringement is established, what remedies are available, and other important features of copyright litigation are covered. Issues raised by new information technologies and recent amendments addressing them receive special attention. Finally because of the growing importance of the global market for copyright-based products, the international copyright system is also addressed.

Nature of the Materials and the Course

This course consists of five interconnected components: (1) a series of background presentations on a sequence of topics that, together, introduce the field, (2) a companion set of assigned readings, (3) a fully integrated set of probes, tutorials, problems, and exercises designed to assist each participant to develop and test his or her mastery of the material, topic by topic, (4) a Web-based conference that functions as an online analog of classroom discussion, and (5) Copyright Law reference materials.

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