This seminar focuses on the role of authors, artists and performers in the creative process, and examines ways in which their treatment under intellectual property law fosters -- and sometimes inhibits -- the development of new and creative literary and artistic works. Views of intellectual property law today are polarized, but debates and controversies have largely involved big business and user groups -- specific attention to the concerns of individual authors, artists and performers has been largely absent. This seminar will focus on the role of individual authors and artists across different fields of endeavor. We will consider (1) how law and industry practices (including the form of remuneration, authorship credit, and control over subsequent uses of works) affect individual creative endeavors; and (2) whether the law has achieved the proper balance between protecting authors' work, and making that work available to form the basis of new creative authorship by others. Topics include copyright; moral rights; performers' rights; practices concerning authorship and ownership in various sectors; disparate bargaining power; the role of trade groups and other representatives; derivative works, fair use and "appropriation art"; the public domain; and the implications for authorship of the internet and new technologies. The seminar also has a practical aspect, as we look at various contractual arrangements between individual creators and publishers, distributors, etc.
Grades will be based on: (1) seminar participation; (2) author/industry analysis project (students will be provided with contracts, industry contacts and/or other resources to do a short presentation to the class on the terms and circumstances under which a particular type of author, artist or performer typically works); and (3) a research paper. Minor writing credit is available; upon consultation with instructor, a paper may be written for major writing credit.
Prerequisite: Copyright Law recommended but not required.