Law and Practice
Chapter 8, Section 1 This section begins with a brief overview of US copyright law, including the various forms of ownership and transfer of ownership; formalities of copyright notice and registration; duration and scope of protection; and limitations on rights including special exemptions, compulsory licenses, and fair use; all with special attention to ways in which US law differs from the laws of its major trading partners. A discussion of contracts and trade secrecy as alternative protections for copyrightable material concludes the introductory background material. Section 1 then turns to specific issues of licensing in the United States: exclusive and non-exclusive licenses, how they are created, and what rights they confer; certain statutory limitations on freedom of contract; recordation and the creation of security interests; bankruptcy considerations; remedies for breach of contract; contractual clauses regarding dispute resolution; and collective licensing (a relatively minor segment of the US market). Section 1 concludes with a very brief statement of a few general principles of US tax law applicable to copyrights. Chapter 8, Section 2 The notion of exclusive rights that characterize copyright and licensing schemes at times conflicts with laws and public policy considerations that impose restrictions on anticompetitive conduct. Although the Department of Justice plays an important role in enforcing prohibitions against anticompetitive conduct, private civil enforcement actions challenging licensing practices have become increasingly common. The music industry licensing illustrates the complex intersection between copyright law and antitrust law in the US.
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