Internet Copyright Legislation Seminar
Jonathan Band and
J.D. Seminar 251
| 2 credit hours
This course examines the increasingly contentious legislative battles concerning copyright, in the context of ongoing debates about reforms to U.S. copyright law. Initiated in part by a 2013 speech by the Register of Copyrights referring to "The Next Great Copyright Act," Congress has now held over a dozen hearings, and government agencies have conducted numerous proceedings, held hearings, and issued reports. Efforts to enact legislation are widely expected in 2015.
The course has three objectives. First, the course will familiarize students with the process by which modern copyright law is enacted: the development of a legislative strategy, the formation of competing coalitions, the search for political allies, the drafting of legislation, the negotiation of compromises. Second, the course will attempt to provide the students with a critical perspective on IP policymaking via legislation, particularly in contrast to the more familiar process of case law evolution. Third, the course will provide students with an in-depth substantive understanding of several of today’s most significant copyright issues, underscoring the conflicts inherent in IP policy. These three objectives are interrelated; one can best understand a legal doctrine if one understands how the doctrine evolved. Although the course will focus on copyright legislation related to the Internet, comparisons will be made to patent and trademark legislation. Students will participate in classroom simulations and write several short advocacy papers relating to legislation discussed in the course. Grading will be based on classroom participation and the papers. Students may take the course on a pass/fail basis.
Recommended: Prior or concurrent registration in at least one course in intellectual property law is suggested, but not required.
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(CRN #: 25670)
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