UT Science Forum: Professor Discusses Creative Property and Harry Potter

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KNOXVILLE – According to Bill Weasley, a wizard in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs.” Gary Pulsinelli, associate professor of law, uses this fictional scene as a metaphor for real-life creative property law issues.

Pulsinelli will be speaking on “Muggles vs. Goblins: Who Should Own Creative Property?” at noon on April 8 in Thompson-Boling Arena Dining Room C-D at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program is free and open to the public; attendees are welcome to bring their lunches or purchase lunch at the Café in the Arena.

In terms of real world copyright issues, Pulsinelli will discuss a case where a Picasso painting was cut into small pieces for resale, as well as the showing of the colorized version of the movie “The Asphalt Jungle” in France.

“My talk will focus primarily on artistic objects, the kind of things typically protected with copyrights, primarily literary and artistic expression — books, song, dance, computer programs, movies, sculpture, painting, etc.,” Pulsinelli said.

In the modern digital world, ownership and control of creative works sparks some not-so-easily answered questions.

“What happens when you use someone else’s music on a video you post to YouTube?” Pulsinelli asked. “Who ‘owns’ a Wikipedia entry? Can Google create a database of all published books without the permission of the authors?”

The UT Science Forum is a weekly event where academic, medical and research professionals share their knowledge and unique insights in their fields. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation.

The UT Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. Upcoming presentations include:

April 15: Dr. Mitchell H. Goldman, assistant dean for research; professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, presents, “Research at UT’s Graduate School of Medicine.”

April 29: Kristina Gordon, associate professor of psychology, presents “Shattered Relationships: Understanding Betrayal and Forgiveness in Intimate Relationships.”

For questions about the UT Science Forum, contact Mark Littmann, littmann@utk.edu or 974-8156, or Mike Clark, clarkgmorph@utk.edu or 974-6006.

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

 

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