This casebook emphasizes the essential cases and materials at the heart of copyright law. Instead of attempting to exhaustively cover every last doctrine in copyright, this casebook selectively focuses on the major cases, doctrines, ideas, and theories in this complex and fascinating area of the law. The result is a streamlined and well-organized casebook of manageable length that keeps the central themes of copyright front and center. This allows teachers and students to take the time to examine, discuss, and master these essential materials and grapple with the complexities and ambiguities in a way that fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter. The authors have written extensively about copyright, the arts, and the impact of new technology.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 03/18/2016

Alfred C. Yen, Boston College Law School

Joseph P. Liu, Boston College Law School


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In this third edition of the casebook, in addition to the standard up-dates and edits, we have made a number of significant changes to reflect new developments in this dynamic field. Specifically:

  • In Chapter Three, we added Aalmuhammed v. Lee in the section on joint works. We also reduced New York Times v. Tasini to a note and added a new short section on interpreting and drafting transfers and licenses.
  • In Chapter Five, we reduced Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films to a textual description. We replaced Quality King Distributors v. L’anza Research with the more recent Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. In the section on Digital Technology, we deleted MAI Systems v. Peak Computer, summarizing it in the text, and added the Supreme Court’s decision in American Broadcasting Co. v. Aereo.
  • In Chapter Six, in the discussion of fair use, we deleted Kelly v. Arriba Soft and created a new subsection titled “Aggregative Uses,” which includes two new cases: Bill Graham Archives v. Doris Kindersley and Authors Guild v. Google. In the section on Statute of Limitations, we include a brief discussion of Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
  • In Chapter Seven, we made several changes to the section on the DMCA and ISP Liability, greatly editing down the statutory text, deleting Perfect10 v. CCBill and ALS Scan v. RemarQ Communities, and replacing the district court opinion in Viacom v. YouTube with the appellate court opinion.
  • In Chapter Eight, we updated the text to reflect the most recent DMCA rulemaking.
  • In Chapter Nine, we deleted Salinger v. Colting.
  • In Chapter Ten, in the section on the Right of Publicity, we added Laws v. Sony Music Entertainment.

Learn more about this series.