So to Speak podcast: Intellectual property 101

June 13, 2019

The Constitution grants Congress the power “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

However, figuring out how Congress actually does this can be confusing.

Copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, fair use?

What do they all mean?

Today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast is all about simplifying intellectual property law for you — and explaining why free speech advocates should care about it. We are joined by FIRE Program Officer — and intellectual property whiz — Adam Goldstein, who helps us break it all down.

A video of this interview can be found on FIRE’s YouTube channel.

Adam’s recommended additional reading and notes:

  • The Pre-History of Fair Use by Matthew Sag
    • “We refer back to Section 107 of the Copyright Act when we talk about fair use, but that section was originally written in 1976; the common law of fair use, which we inherited from England, had been in use since 1740. It helps to understand the 1976 act in the context as an attempt to record common law protections.”
  • ‘The Wind Done Gone’ on Trial (transcript)
    • “Alice Randall’s ‘The Wind Done Gone’ was originally marketed as a satire, making a point about the old South, rather than making fun of ‘Gone With The Wind.’ After the rights-holders sued, she argued it was a parody. This discussion between lawyers for the case shows how close these calls can be. Ultimately, they settled the case after Randall lost in the trial court but won in the appellate court.”
  • ‘Exploring the Bounds of Fair Use: Graham v. Prince’ by Ayesha Syed
    • “Right now, for better or worse, ‘appropriation artist’ Richard Prince is forcing courts to confront the closest cases of ‘transformation.’ This blog post explains the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York’s reasoning in finding that a mysterious comment and reproduction do not sufficiently transform a photograph used in an Instagram post.”
  • Podcast Transcript

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