Introduction: Rights of Attribution, Section 43(A) of the Lanham Act, and the Copyright Public Domain
21 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2014 Last revised: 31 Jul 2014
Date Written: 2003
In Dastar Corporation v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the former owner of the copyright in a "work made for hire" has a federal right of attribution that continues to exist even after the formerly copyrighted work has entered the public domain.
Fifteen intellectual property law professors filed anamicus brief in the case in support of the Petitioner. The brief, which is reprinted following this introduction, attempts to place the Dastar case in its historical context, as merely the latest effort on the part of former copyright owners to use trademark and unfair competition law to punish and deter the copying of public domain works. The purpose of this introduction is to explain the factual and procedural background of the case, and to explain the importance of the case in terms of its potential impact on U.S. and international intellectual property law.
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