The Catholic University of America

Welcome to the Copyright section of our webpage.

This front page will reflect our most current information on copyright law and related intellectual property law issues affecting educational institutions.

Debunking Copyright Myths, National Law Review, Sept. 13, 2019

Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 83 Fed. Reg. 54010, October 26, 2018. 
Noteworthy for educational institutions are the rules on use of audiovisual works. See Part 201.40, use of audiovisual works for teaching (outside of classroom viewing in the face to face teaching situation) is still limited to short portions of motion pictures, for educational purposes, when properly protected by technological measures, as noted below. 

(1) Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content
Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Content System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and the person engaging in circumvention under paragraph (b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section reasonably believes that non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of
high-quality content, or the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures
after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures in the following instances...

Cambridge University Press et al. v. J.L.Albert (Georgia State), (No. 16-15726) (C.A.11) October 19, 2018. 

Ongoing litigation over Georgia State's use of e-reserves and what does and does not constitute fair use. The trial judge had assigned numerical percentages that could be used to determine fair use of non-fiction works. The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the District Court to correct specific errors in its application of fair use. So this is the second trip back to the Court of Appeals, made the following findings: "One such error was the use of a mathematical formula to balance the four statutory fair use factors. Another was the insufficient weigh the district court gave to the severe threat of market substitution." The Court of Appeals affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded with instructions. If there is a takeaway from this decision it is that no matter how seductive mathematical formulas are (e.g. no more than 10% of the work) they are not a substitute for a holistic review. So it is back to Pierre Leval and Toward a Fair use Standard if one wants to understand how to apply the law. A full history of the case and commentary can be found here

Atlantic Article (April 2018) A Landslide of Classic Art is about to Enter the Public Domain

The Music Modernization Act, signed into law October 11, 2018, is directed toward helping songwriters and publishers seek fair market royalty rates and simplify digital licensing for music  streaming companies. See The National Law Review article A Tune of Modernity, published 10-17-18 for a full description of the changes. The law (in Title II) extends remedies for copyright infringement of pre-1972 sound recordings for 95 years after first publication of the recording, ending on Dec. 31st of that year. Title II of the Act allows noncommercial use of pre-72 sound recordings that are not in the public domain and that are not being commercially exploited.  See HR 1551 for a full history of the law. 

 See also The Music Modernization Act: The Future of Digital Publishing by Jamie McCrary and the Copyright Alliance Summary of the Music Modernization Act.

NACUANOTES, Synching your teeth into Copyright Law: Legal and Practical Considerations for Public Performances of Video and Photos Synchronized to Copyrighted Music by Joseph Storch, Stephanie Morrison and Jack Bernard.



updated 11-6-18