Each academic year, the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts prints an issue dedicated to the annual Symposium of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, hosted at Columbia Law School. This year’s Symposium, titled “Exploring Copyrightability and Scope of Protection,” was held on October 4, 2019, and was cosponsored by the U.S. Copyright Office. Topics of discussion included whether and how copyright attaches to new and emerging forms of creative expression, as well as doctrines, such as merger and scènes à faire, which may render unprotectable key elements of an otherwise copyrightable work. As always, the Journal was honored to participate in the event and is pleased to publish the proceedings here.
There are two types of publications in this Issue. Each speaker was given the option to expand her or his remarks at the Symposium into a short Article. For those who chose not to write an Article, we have instead presented transcriptions of their remarks, edited lightly for concision and clarity. An asterisk footnote on the first page of each piece indicates whether it is an Article or a transcription.
The pieces that follow are featured largely in the order in which contributors spoke at the Symposium. The exception to this pattern is Megan E. Noh’s Article, U.S. Law’s Artificial Cabining of Moral Rights: The Copyrightability Prerequisite and Cady Noland’s Log Cabin, which we have grouped with the pieces from Panel I because it responds directly to Regan A. Smith’s remarks as part of that panel. (In fact, Ms. Noh spoke toward the conclusion of the Symposium, in an informal roundtable discussion which has not been reproduced in this Issue.)
More information about the Symposium, including videos of the panel presentations and recommended background reading, can be found on the Kernochan Center’s website at https://law.columbia.edu/kernochan.