The seminar will cover intellectual property issues relating to the media, as well as libel, privacy, newsgathering, commercial speech, and web publishing. We will discuss copyright and disruptive technologies, the evolving fair use doctrine, and how media companies go about acquiring rights from content creators and monetizing those rights through multi-platform distribution and creation of derivative works. We will work through the copyright issues relating to digital archives, Internet service providers and search engines on the Internet, including direct and contributory copyright infringement, and the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
For libel, privacy and newsgathering, we will read the most salient cases and statutes, watch broadcasts that resulted in litigations, learn how to find and fix legal issues pre-publication, and pick apart hypothetical situations in print, on the Internet and in video. We will compare notions of privacy and free expression in the United States and abroad. We will also look at the legal implications of native advertising, behavioral advertising, and user generated content.
Each student will write a 20-25 page research paper about a particular area of media law chosen by the student. Minor and major writing credit is available upon consultation with the instructors. The last two classes will be dedicated to 8-10 minute in-class student presentations of their paper topics. Grades will be based on the research paper as well as the presentation, class participation, preparedness, and attendance. No prior course in copyright or media law is required.