Welcome to the first stage of our journey through copyright law. We begin today by talking about the simple but complicated question of what is copyright? In the United States, copyright is first and foremost a federal law that was passed by Congress by the authority given to it under the U.S. constitution where it says that Congress is allowed pass laws to, among other things, promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive rights in their writings and discoveries. This authorization allows Congress to adopt both copyright laws, which protect creative expression and patent laws, which protect inventions. The idea behind copyright is to secure a financial incentive for authors and other creators that will make it worthwhile for those authors, artists, musicians, whatever they are, to continue to make new stuff. >> And that's right. And a lot of times, when I'm talking to people about sort of the basics and policy behind copyright, I ask people to remember to follow the money. Which in higher education or in education in general is not uppermost in people's mind's, but it's something to always remember when you're talking about copyright. So there is a deliberate monopoly, as you said, when you have a copyright. And the reason is because. There's been a lot of effort and creativity that's gone into producing something that is copy writeable. If for example an author has spent years writing a book, a publisher has spent a lot of money and invested a lot of time in editing, printing, marketing and so on. And, the author wants to have royalties if at all possible, The publisher wants to make money on the book, and if someone comes along and undercuts that process it's a financial hit for the, author and for the publisher. And the copyright is intended to protect those people and entities in that situation and keep that market intact. So a couple things to think about with the scenario I just talked about is that a lot of times especially today, I said author in that example and author is correct but there are a lot of other creators who own copyrights as well. And because you can get a copyright in so many different forms of creative expression, including photographs, music, dance, architecture, all kinds of different ways of expression, and so a lot of times we use author and creator interchangeably in that situation. And the other thing that has really for a lot of people made copyright a lot of fun and. >> [LAUGH] >> But also very difficult today is that it's no longer all about text or analog materials. There's so much digital expression today and that has really changed the way we think. And formulate copyright laws. >> As we go along through this series of lectures we'll talk about images, music. I don't remember if we talk any about buildings, but we could. >> Mm-hm. >> There's all kinds of material. And as you it say, it makes copyright a lot of fun, because we get to deal with really creative stuff. But it also has made the world more complicated for us. >> Right, yeah. >> But for now, let's remember that copyright is a monopoly. That was created by law, that gives authors and creators a set of exclusive rights in the things that they create. This monopoly functions just like all other monopolies do. It allows prices to rise above what they would normally be. In the case of copyright, this is intentional and it's supposed to create an incentive that keeps writers writing, and artists painting, film makers filming and musicians. Doing whatever it is musicians do, play. [LAUGH] In our next lecture, we'll discuss the history of copyright. And you'll be able to see, we hope, that the state created monopoly and its incentive purpose have developed over time. We'll look forward to talking to you again.