trademarks and copyright law

This week we’re working with trademarks and copyright law.

The idea of copyright protection — where people have rights over the works that they have created — is a major issue when you think about the fact that you can access all sorts of copyrighted materials without paying for them.  P2P networks allowed the sharing of a great deal of copyrighted material without respecting the rights of the creators of the materials–Napster was the most well-known of these in the beginning.

So the first question is: Why do people not view games, videos, movies and music they get online without paying for them as theft?

Another issue is how long copyright protection lasts.  Typically, the author has copyright protection for their lifetime plus 70 years. With people living longer, do you realize that this material can be copyrighted for over a century even if they wrote it as an adult?

So for the second question: under what circumstances do you think that copyright expirations should be revisited?

Textbooks:

  1. Siegel, Paul. Communication Law in America. Fourth Edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield,2014. ISBN: 978-1-4422-2622-7.
  2. Cases in Communication Law. Fourth Edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield,  2014. ISBN: 978-1-4422-2624-1
 
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