781 Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music

This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

 

Enrollment Prerequisite

Copyright Law (LAW 322) or Intellectual Property Law (LAW 270) are required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Lecture
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
2017
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins TuTh 4:00-5:25 PM 4172

This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

 

Pre/Co-requisites

Copyright Law (LAW 322) or Intellectual Property Law (LAW 270) are required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

Enrollment Restrictions
None
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins TuTh 3:45-5:06 PM 4000/3171

This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

Copyright Law (LAW 322) or Intellectual Property Law (LAW 270) are required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

Pre/Co-requisites
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2015
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins Tu/Th 3:45-5:05 PM Room 4046

This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.Copyright Law (LAW 322) or Intellectual Property Law (LAW 270) are required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

Pre/Co-requisites

Copyright Law (Law 322) or Intellectual Property (Law 270) Can also be co-requisites.

Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins Tu/Th 3:15-4:35 pm Room 4172
This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

Pre/Co-requisites
Copyright Law (Law 322) or Intellectual Property (Law 270)
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2013
Spring 2013
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins Tu / Th 1:30-2:51 pm Room 4044
This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

Pre/Co-requisites
Copyright Law (Law 322) or Intellectual Property (Law 270)
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2012
Spring 2012
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

781.01 3 Jennifer Jenkins T/Th 5-6:21 pm T/Th 5-6:21 pm Room 3171
This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

Pre/Co-requisites
Copyright Law (Law 322) or Intellectual Property (Law 270)
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.