The Lingering Legacy of Common Law Copyright:
Sound Recordings and Beyond
Copyright protection for sound recordings was a source of confusion for the better part of the 20th century, until Congress federalized protection for these sound recordings in the 70s – but only for sound recordings made from 1972 forward. Recordings made before then continue to be protected by a patchwork of state law protections, most notably the otherwise-extinct doctrine of common law copyright. Although the doctrine of common law copyright is centuries old, basic questions like whether it includes a right of public performance have not been debated extensively since the 19th century. In this talk, Professor Rosen will explore how the jurisprudence of common law copyright is more fully fleshed out than many assume and is in certain ways a broader bundle of rights than statutory copyright. Although the Copyright Office has recommended federalization of protection for pre-1972 sound recordings, that has not happened yet, and this talk aims to shed light on the dinosaur of a doctrine that governs IP worth billions. Prof. Rosen’s talk will be followed by a moderated discussion led by Professor Bob Brauneis.
There will be a networking reception from 7-8pm.
Professor Zvi Rosen is currently the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office, and a visiting scholar at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He has taught at New York Law School and the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Rosen is the author of numerous scholarly papers, and in 2013 received the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. Charles B. Seton Award for his article, “Reimagining Bleistein: Copyright for Advertisements in Historical Perspective.”
He holds a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and an LLM from the George Washington University Law School where he was awarded the Finnegan Prize for the best paper in intellectual property.
Moderated by Professor Bob Brauneis, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Program at George Washington University Law School
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