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Intellectual Property Law and Interactive Media

Free for a Fee


Edward Lee Lamoureux, Steven L. Baron and Claire Stewart

The digitizing of intellectual property and the ease and speed with which it can be copied, transmitted, and globally shared poses legal challenges for traditional owners of content rights, for those who create new media, and for those who consume new media content.
This informative and accessible introductory text, written for students of media and communication, provides a comprehensive overview of the complex legal landscape surrounding new media and intellectual property rights. The authors present theoretical backgrounds, legislative developments, and legal case histories in intellectual property law. Copyright, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, personal torts (rights of publicity, defamation, privacy) are examined in U.S., international, and virtual contexts. Suitable as a primary text for courses focusing on intellectual property law in multimedia/new media, this book will also be useful for courses in media law. The information presented in the book is supplemented by, a blog providing updates to students and instructors alike. A glossary of key terms is also provided.


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Introduction 1


Introduction Shifting from Public to Private Interests Th e following paradox captures the tone of the “new media environment” as it relates to intellectual property law: “Nothing has changed; everything has changed.” In many ways, relatively little about intellectual property law has changed in the last two hundred years or so. For example, the 1976 revision of the 1909 revision of the 1790 Copyright Act (amended in 1802, 1831, 1856, and 1870) kept in place, for the fruits of creative labor, a regime of protection like that af- forded to real property.1 In America, copyright laws preserve the rights of those who produce creative works or those who have acquired said rights via pur- chase, lease, or inheritance. Th e laws apply to artists and content producers by constraining them from copying the protected works of others. Th e laws also apply to corporate entities such as distributors to keep them from profi ting by selling “illegal” copies of the protected works. Th e 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) clarifi ed the application of “current” law to new media works, as well as adding a few principles specifi c to digital works (for example, Lamoureaux.indd Sec1:1 2/2/09 10:46:51 PM  intellectual property law and interactive media specifying that electronic means of protecting copyrighted works should not be circumvented). Th e primary producers and owners of intellectual property have long been, and continue to be, large corporations. Th ese multinational entities play a major role in the development...

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