Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category

Copyright Flowcharts and Checklists

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I am a big fan of flow charts, process maps and checklists in streamlining and organizing work.  While the downside is that you might miss important detail, I believe that the gains usually outweigh the costs in time saved and energy expended.

I previously highlighted Erik Heels’ excellent drawing that explains copyright law in my post here.  IP law firm Bromberg & Sunstein has a useful flowchart for determining when U.S. copyrights in fixed works expire.  Federal copyright law states that a work is “fixed” when it is embodied in a tangible medium of expression.  If a work is not fixed, it is not eligible for federal copyright protection, although it may have protection under state law.

Cornell University has posted a chart, Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, that details copyright duration in a different format.  The Copyright Advisory Network of the American Library Association offers a Digital Copyright Slider to determine if copyright protects a work that first was published in the United States.

The Copyright Management Center at Indiana University offers a Checklist For Fair Use.  U.S. copyright law basically defines “fair use” to mean that one can use a copyrighted work without infringing on the copyright.

Finally, on a more general level, Professor Lionel S. Sobel has produced a flowchart, a Copyright Navigator, a digital annotated concept map of the fundamentals of U.S. copyright law.

The Emergence of China and India

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

We try hard to determine the future, but it is difficult to predict because so many variables exist. Who could imagine in 1908 the scientific advances of the 20th century, the two world wars, the rise and fall of communism, and the emergence of a wealthy western economic system after a dark depression in the 1930s?

That said, from the perspective of 2008, it appears that this will be the century of the human genome and the re-emergence of China and India (“Chindia”) as economic giants (In 1500, they accounted for about 49% of the world’s gross domestic product.). They will soon account for 40% of the world’s population and have been exhibiting rapid economic growth this century.

Global capital has and will continue to pour into Chindia. E-Solutions Integrator, the company I joined the day after it was incorporated in 1999, went public (as Cambridge Technology Enterprises) on the National and Bombay Exchanges in India. We originally outsourced software development in India and later had development and support offices there.

Political and social systems have yet to catch up. For example, in China, attorney/client privilege is not recognized except regarding trade secrets. In India, under the Evidence Act of 1972, privileged communications are protected, but in-house counsel are not considered to be attorneys, so as a general rule, communications between lawyers working for a company and officers, directors and employees are not subject to protection.

The China Law Blog focuses on law for those doing business in China. It includes a list of the authors’ favorite China-oriented law blogs, such as IP Dragon, which discusses intellectual property law in China, and the China Business Law Blog.

South Korea will prosper greatly from Chinese economic development. The Korean Law Blog provides updates on Korean law, and the Korean IP Law Blog more narrowly focuses on intellectual property issues.

Indian Corporate Law reviews business law topics that impact India. Law and Other Things is a blog about Indian law, its courts and Constitution.

Drawing That Explains Copyright Law

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words to Erik Heels, an engineer and patent/trademark attorney. Erik’s made a nice Venn diagram and then some showing copyright rights, fair use and unregulated uses. It’s here.

More details about copyright and registering a work can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office, where copyright records may also be searched.  Copyright law and policy, including current U.S. copyright law, regulations and current legislation also are available.  Finally, here’s a brief overview on international copyright law, highlighting key treaties and key differences between U.S. and international copyright law.