Copyleft vs. Copyright: Artist and Author Rights in Tomorrow’s Digital Age


On March 5, 2010, the Wake Forest School of Law Intellectual Property Law Journal held its annual symposium. This year’s topic focused on how current copyright laws are applied to tomorrow’s technologies. The keynote speaker was Ms. Laura N. Gasaway, a professor of law at the University of North Carolina’s School of Law.  Ms. Gasaway is a scholar in the field of copyrights, focusing primarily on the intersection of authorship rights and cyberspace law. The symposium featured a unique composition with two individual panels focusing on copyright issues in the areas of music and software development and use.

Copyright law has fallen under increased scrutiny as new technological developments have made it harder for traditional copyright laws to remain applicable. New development techniques, such as the use of open source software, have obscured the need for traditional copyright protections, and instead require a “new look” approach. Our symposium sought to address these problems and attempted to propose innovative solutions.

Brooks Pierce partner Coe Ramsey discussed pending federal sound recording performance copyright legislation that has put the broadcasting and recording industries at odds and the impact of copyright law on the ability of DJs, artists, and producers to create music using new technologies and sampling and “mashup” production techniques.


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