NOTE: The first meeting of the Spring 2013 term will be the week of January 22, date, time and room TBA. Class will not meet on Monday, January 28; regular meetings will begin on Monday, February 4.
The seminar will cover copyright, libel, privacy, publicity, newsgathering issues, advertising, and web publishing. We will discuss what rights a print or digital publisher might acquire from a writer, photographer or blogger, and how publishers exploit those rights once obtained. We will work through the copyright issues relating to digital archives, Internet service providers and search engines on the Internet, including direct and contributory copyright infringement, the fair use doctrine, and the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
For libel, privacy and newsgathering, we will read the most salient cases and statutes, watch broadcasts that resulted in litigations, learn how to find and fix legal issues pre-publication, and pick apart hypothetical situations in print, on the Internet and in video. We will compare notions of privacy and free expression in the United States and abroad. At least one class will feature a special guest.
Each student will write a research paper about a particular area of publishing law. Minor and major writing credit is available upon consultation with the instructor. Grades will be based on this 20- to 25-page research paper as well as class participation, preparedness, and attendance. No prior course in copyright or media law is required.