Technological Protection and Other Solutions

(KW) Instead of technological protection, what if intellectual property were treated as a service instead of a product?  For example, the Open Music Model which allows for user to pay a subscription fee and allows for open file sharing and open competition, and the copyright holder gets paid per download or share.  Would piracy still be an issue?  Would current laws that penalize piracy still be necessary?

(LJ) Theoretically, Big Media could centralize its media distribution to one site (like Hulu) on the internet and stop sales of hard DVDs/CDs in the future, so that the only way to easily consume the media is to subscribe there.  Say that the next Twilight movie comes out and they only distribute via streaming online using an exclusive provider.  But then they flag their copy (using digital watermarking) outside that site.  Would they be able to designate media as presumptively pirated after placing such strong limits on the release and access to the media?

(DF) If technological protection works, should we abolish copyright protection for intellectual property in digital form?

(SR) Should copyright owners be forced to give up some of their exclusive rights (Example: duration of the right) if they are permitted to constrain a consumer’s use of their work (i.e. limiting the number of archival copies that can be made or limiting types of software or hardware that can “play” the work)?


(KW) What privacy concerns, if any, are there with downloads that embed personal information?  For example, iTunes purchases embed your name and email address within the file.  What if more information was captured such as a home address, now is it a concern?  Is this an effective way to prevent piracy?

(LJ) It seems that with the increasing prevalence of cloud computing and hosting data online for streaming, it seems possible that future filesharing will happen by sharing access, rather than actually copying.  How might it be litigated if I chose to share my password rather than a file?  What if I claimed it was stolen instead?
(LJ) Some people want to browse anonymously, but social networks are consistently making sharing more public and more compulsory.  If this trend continues it will be difficult for anyone non-expert to use social networks without revealing more than they intend.  What recourse, if any, would these people have legally for damage to their privacy and reputation, and is there some implicit knowledge expectation that is growing as the complexity of the networks increases?  Where is the limit at which we can no longer expect a layperson to keep up with these networks?

(SR) Should users be permitted to remove their personal information from transactional watermarks (to maintain privacy) or is this part of the quid pro quo?

(DF) Suppose my software permits me to monitor your use of it in a way which would be a tortious invasion of privacy if done by a human being. Is it still tortious if the information never goes to a human, but simply feeds into a program which tells me whether you are violating your license but not what you are doing?


(SR) Would increasing the penalty for infringement while simultaneously decreasing the life of exclusive rights to copyright owners provide an adequate level of deterrence to copyright infringement while still making creation of copyrightable works rewarding?

President Sarkozy once proposed requiring Internet Service Provides to terminate Internet access to repeat infringers. What if we a) decrease the life of some copyrightable works, say music for 5 years instead of the current (life of owner + 50/70 years) and b) (presuming we could create an internet warrant) drastically increase the infringement penalty to a possible “internet ban” for 20 years? Would this lead to proper deterrence while still creating an adequate reward for authors?

(SE) A new California law, effective January 1, 2020, will require that all textbooks used in public and private postsecondary institutions be made available in electronic form. The law also allows for the e-textbooks to "be copy-protected.” It is possible that companies like Apple (iPad) and Amazon (Kindle) will have a near monopoly on the electronic ecosystems that will deliver these books. Could this mean that any determination of what is copyable or usable as "fair use" will be determined by software and thus limit flexibility for the instructor? e.g. the iPads copy protection software will dictate how much text an instructor can copy for class materials. Maybe we should rethink what "fair use" will mean in the e-textbook world.

(SE) Imagine an altruistic artist, in hopes of gaining notoriety, distributes her music for free through her website. The artist wants to ensure a "copyleft" type license that will encourage derivative works and will ensure that such works be kept free as well. Also, the artist wants to restrict the music from being associated with politically charged topics or things that she thinks are morally compromising. Since the artist wants to encourage derivative works she is worried that simply having a "clickthrough" license on her website will not provide the ultimate end users with adequate acknowledgment of her or of her wishes. What kind of technological solution could be developed to help her? 

(PYS) If technological protections such as watermarking, private web spiders and software capabilities are available should we allow for vigilante justice? Should the web spiders and tech protections devices be allowed to corrupt the pirated material? 

(DF) David Friedman
(KW) Kristie Weber
(LJ) Lisa Jensen
(PYS) Previous Year Student
(SE) Saad Enam
(SR) Susannah Ragab

Legal Research on digital watermarks from a previous year.

Legal Research on copyright infringement of MP3's by Donald Choi

Legal Research by Susannah Ragab

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