6.912 | January IAP 2006 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Copyright Law


The course assignments were closely tied to the readings.

Assignment 1

Review the LexisNexis® Handout (PDF)

Assignment 2

Go to LexisNexis®, “Legal Research,” then “Federal Code,” and finally “Guided Search.” Search for “17 uscs” in “Cite.” This will pull up the entire Copyright Act. Read the following sections of the statute. (If the section seems to go on and on, just read the first few subsections. You may find it helpful to look back at the definitions in section 101.)

  • 106 (Core Rights)
  • 106A (Limited Moral Rights)
  • 107 (Fair Use)
  • 109 (First Sale)
  • 110 (Exempt Performances)
  • 115 Only Read Subsections (a) and (b) (Musical “Covers”)
  • 117 (Computer Programs)
  • 302 (Duration of Copyright)
  • 401 (Copyright Notice)
  • 411 (Registration)
  • 504 (Damages for Infringement)
  • 506 (Criminal Violations, including LaMacchia Law)

For each of these twelve sections, write a little summary (between one and three sentences) to yourself explaining the gist of the section. For example:

  • Section 115. This section allows musicians to record and distribute “covers” of songs without having to get permission, as long as another recording of the song has already been legitimately distributed. For example, when Madonna released her version of “American Pie” in 2000, she didn’t need Don McLean’s permission. She just had to pay him about 8 cents (a government-set price) per copy sold.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2006
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos