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Mass Media Law

The Printing Press to the Internet

Arthur S. Hayes

Digital media law is now the dynamic legal territory. Mass Media Law: The Printing Press to the Internet is a textbook designed to introduce students to the panoply of legal theories raised by the Internet revolution as well as those supporting traditional media. The book takes a historical approach beginning with the printing press and the telegraph and proceeding to the digital technologies of today, such as social media and search engines. Concepts such as defamation, broadcast regulation, privacy, and free expression are covered along with new media legal theories including Internet exceptionalism, cyber libertarianism, and digital speech and democratic culture. These are introduced to explain why traditional theories such as First Amendment medium-specific analysis, common carriage, and network neutrality are just as relevant today as they were in the early twentieth century. In order to help readers develop critical reasoning skills, each chapter opens with a highly readable realworld vignette and goes on to identify and explain legal doctrines and tests. Key passages from court opinions are highlighted, and each chapter closes with a list of online media law resources and thought-provoking questions, including legal hypotheticals, to give readers a solid understanding of the area in question. Mass Media Law is designed to be the main text and a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate courses covering media, mass communication, free expression, and journalism law.


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14. Copyright, New Technologies & Trademark


C H A P T E R F O U R T E E N Copyright, New Technologies & Trademark CONTROVERSY: In 2004, Google Inc. launched a campaign to scan all the books in the world and make them available on the Web via its search engine. Google has plans to create the largest library ever—or bookstore, some argued. University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said the project, now known as Google Books, “can, and will, change the world” because it takes “the corpus of human knowledge and puts it in the hands of anyone who wants it.”1 But the reality of copyright law soon intruded. In 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers brought a class action lawsuit against Google, charging it with massive copyright infringement. Google was scanning and uploading the content of books from libraries without getting permis- sion from authors, including books known as “orphan works.” Orphan works—they num- ber in the millions—are out-of-print copyrighted works whose copyright holders cannot be located or are unknown. Yet, under copyright law, such holders retain their rights until their copyrights expire. Under the terms of a settlement between the Guild and Google announced in 2008, orphan works copyright holders would lose their rights if they failed to opt out of the settlement. In 2011, a federal judge rejected the settlement on a number of grounds, including a concern about Google’s copying of orphan and other copyrighted works. The settle- ment’s terms deprive...

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