|Introduction to Intellectual Property
This week, Stan Muller launches the Crash Course Intellectual Property mini-series. So, what is intellectual property, and why are we teaching it? Well, intellectual property is about ideas and their ownership, and it's basically about the rights of creators to make money from their work. Intellectual property is so pervasive in today's world, we thought you ought to know a little bit about it. We're going to discuss the three major elements of IP: Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks.
ALSO, A DISCLAIMER:
The views expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Copyright Office, the Library of Congress, or the United States Government.
The information in this video is distributed on "As Is" basis, without warranty. While precaution has been taken in the preparation of the video, the author shall not have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any information contained in the work.
This video is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. Intellectual property law is notoriously fact specific, and this video (or any other single resource) cannot substitute for expert guidance from qualified legal counsel. To obtain legal guidance relevant to your particular circumstances, you should consult a qualified lawyer properly licensed in your jurisdiction. You can contact your local bar association for assistance in finding such a lawyer in your area.
The Magic 8 Ball is a registered Trademark of Mattel
Citation 1: Brand, Stewart. Quote from speech given at first Hackers' Conference, 1984
Citation 2: Plato, Phaedrus. 390 BC p. 157
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This week, Stan Muller teaches you the basics of copyright in the United States. Copyright law is territorial, so we're going to cover the system we know the most about, and that's the US. Stan will talk about what kind of ideas can be copyrighted, who can get a copyright, and what protections the copyright grants. We'll also talk about the always contentious and seemingly ever-growing term of copyright. Stan will also teach you about the low bar for creativity, which means that original work doesn't have to be all that original, and he'll also touch on the problems with copyright in the modern world.
The Magic 8 Ball is a registered trademark of the Mattel corporation.
Citation 1: Title 17 United States Code, section 101
Citation 2: 17 USC 101
Citation 3: 17 USC 101
|Copyright, Exceptions, and Fair Use
Stan Muller teaches you a few things about copyright enforcement, and talks about the exceptions to copyright enforcement. While there are several, the one you've probably heard of is Fair Use, and it's a pretty tricky one. We'll try to explain it, and teach you just why fair use is so loosey goosey.
Citation1: 17 USC 503
Citation 2: Hargreaves, Ian. Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. UK Intellectual Property Office. P 5
Citation 3: Iowa State Univ. Research Found., Inc. v. American Broadcasting Cos., 621 F.2d 57 (2d Cir. 1980)
Citation 4: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enters., 471 U.S. 539, 551, 105 S. Ct. 2218, 85 L. Ed. 2d 588 (1985) (quoting) Joseph McDonald, Non-Infringing Uses, 9 Bull. Copyright Soc'y 466, 467 No. 355 (1962)
Links We Promised:
Copyright Office Fair Use Index
Best Practices Documents
|Patents, Novelty, and Trolls
This week, Stan teaches you about patents. It turns out, they're patently complicated! So, patents have some similarity to copyright, in that they grant a limited monopoly to people who invent things. The key difference in patents and copyright is that patents are for THINGS. Copyright is for an idea. So, if you've come up with a great new invention, like for example, a condiment gun, you should get a patent. We'll also talk about some of the limitations and problems of patents, including patent trolls
|Trademarks and Avoiding Consumer Confusion
In which Stan Muller teaches you about our third branch of Intellectual Property, trademarks. A lot of people confuse trademark and copyright. Trademarks apply to things like company and product names and logos, packaging designs, and commercial designs. Basically, copyright protects ideas, but trademarks protect the things that help consumers tell companies apart. This ensures that consumers know the source of the goods they're buying. Without trademarks, it would be really difficult to buy the same product twice, and very easy for unscrupulous companies to pass off fakes and knock offs of the products you want. I'm telling you, you like trademarks.
|International IP Law
This week, Stan Muller teaches you how intellectual property law functions internationally. Like, between countries. Well, guess what. There's kind of no such thing as international law. But we can talk about treaties. There are a bevy of international treaties that regulate how countries deal with each others' IP. The upside is that this cooperation tends to foster international trade. The downside is, these treaties tend to stifle creativity by making it harder to shorten copyright terms. You win some, you lose some.
|IP Problems, YouTube, and the Future
In which Stan Muller talks about some of the problems in Intellectual Property law as it exists today. He'll also teach you a little about how IP law applies to everyone's favorite media platform, YouTube. Lastly, he'll do a little prognosticating, and try to predict how IP law might change in the future.
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