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Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets
This section is intended to provide a basic understanding of the differences between copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, with the intention of making students aware both of their opportunities to protect their own intellectual property as well as understanding their reponsibilities towards the intellectual property of others.
The class will include the showing of two short videos by the Software Publishers Association.
- "Canadian high court rules 4-3 to limit copyright's reach", From globeandmail.com, Thursday, April 18, 2002.
- Plagiarism or Just Good Use of Resources?
- "Copy Controls: Fair Use or Foul Play? - Hollywood, techies, and Congress wrangle to control what digital video you can store, swap, and see", Tom Spring, PCWorld.com, Friday, March 15, 2002.
- Copyright Extension Act (renamed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act), 1998.
- "BT [British Telecom] Sues Prodigy over US Hyperlink Patent", by Laura Rohde, Infoworld, 15 December 2000.
- "Microsoft orders Va. Beach to prove software ownership", By KATRICE FRANKLIN, © 2000, The Virginian-Pilot, November 4, 2000.
- "How Forcefully Should Universities Enforce Copyright Law on Audio Files?" -- Carnegie Mellon's search for MP3's pleases recording industry, but irks some students, by KELLY McCOLLUM, Chronicle of Higher Education, 19 November 1999.
- "A Lesson for the Valley: Thou Shalt Not Steal" by Torri Still, The Recorder/Cal Law, October 7, 1999.
- "Swedish teen sued for Internet music piracy", San Jose Mercury News,
Posted at 12:25 p.m. PDT Thursday, September 9, 1999.
- Intellectual Property Rights and Responsibilities: A Student's Guide by Chin Yee Ng, Master of Science Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
- February's Topic of the Month: Patent, Copyright & Trademark--When It Comes to Intellectual Property, We've Got Some Real Winners, nolo.com, Feb. 1999. Includes links to information on:
- Qualifying for a Patent
- Copyright Basics
- How the Law Protects Trademarks
- When Copying Is OK: The 'Fair Use' Rule
- Naming Your Business in the Information Age
The Copyright Website provides an excellent tutorial on copyrights that is well worth visiting.
The Virginia Tech guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials in classes is useful.
Academicians generally make liberal use of "Fair Use Guidelines" which permit limited copying for classroom usage and provide some limits on the time span for the use of copies. There is a recent court precedant called the "LaMacchia Exemption" which appears to permit copying for non-profit usage. It may well be expected that this will be overturned by legislative action soon.
- One of the leading protectors of software copyrights is the SPA Anti-Piracy division of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). It is really worthwhile to visit their homepage.
- The Association of American Publishers has set up a Web
site to showcase its new Digital Object Identifier System, which
identifies copyrighted material and links the user to the copyright
- Also see an interesting TRADEMARK case in Cleveland OH by Daniel Buchholz, CS 3604, Fall 1996.
Last updated 2002/04/29
© J.A.N. Lee, 1995-2002.