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Culture and Copyright

ENGL 105.950

Penn Summer in London 2013 (June 24-July 25, 2013)


In this course, we will look at the history of copyright law in Britain and the US, and we will explore the ways that copyright has both responded to new media and driven art and entertainment. How, for example, is a new medium (printed books, photography, recorded music, film, and the internet) defined in relation to existing media? How does the law accommodate shifting ideas and circumstances of authorship? What are the limits of fair use (US) and fair dealing (UK)? And how have writers, artists, engineers, and creative industries responded to various changes in copyright law? A major focus of the course will be the lessons of history for the current copyright debates over such issues as file sharing, the public domain, and new technologies. Making use of our surroundings, we will visit the sites where copyright began and was first practiced in eighteenth century London. And we will hear from experts in the field.

Fulfills General Requirement IV, Humanities and Social Sciences and Sector 1 or Sector 6, English Major

fulfills requirements
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major