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Derivative Works: Who Owns What?

Courts have recently been busy dealing with the puzzling concepts of derivative works, fair use, and transformation. “Transformation” is the underlying principle of derivative works created either by the author or licensees with the author’s permission; or created without the author’s permission legally under the fair use doctrine. There are two sets of rights granted […]

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Celebrating 305 Years of Statutory Copyright Law

Gerald M. Levine, Co-author Rights in Literary Property The United States Copyright Office and many people on social media, particularly on Twitter, have been celebrating the enactment of the first national copyright act in this country that President Washington signed into law on May 31, 1790. The 1790 Act was largely adopted from an earlier […]

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Fair Use is a Statutory Privilege, Not a License

Co-author Gerald M. Levine The U.S. Supreme Court has described fair use as “a privilege in others than the owner of the copyright to use the copyrighted material in a reasonable manner without his consent.” The privilege is statutory with a common law background. The question often put is, How much can the taker use […]

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Damages and Penalties for Copyright Infringement

Co-author Gerald M. Levine Copyright infringement has consequences. The Copyright Act protects the integrity of an author’s work by granting the copyright holder certain exclusive rights in both her original and derivative works. It has teeth. This means the author controls who may do what to her work. For example, without a license from the […]

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