S. Life, Liberty and Liability in the Digital Millenium (Secondary Liability and the Internet)
Prior intellectual property law courses are recommended, but not required.
This seminar explores the changing nature of intellectual property liability, and specifically secondary liability, on the Internet and in the broader digital world. We begin by tracing the roots of secondary intellectual property liability and the Sony Betamax decision, then move into the Internet era, covering issues including peer-to-peer file sharing, public performance of music and video over the Internet and mobile phones, MP3 devices, on-line speech liability, Internet auctions, Internet radio, "locker" and "cloud" services, Google Book Search, YouTube, MySpace, and cross-border application and impact of the intellectual property laws. Along the way, we also study the various legislative modifications to the intellectual property laws in response to the Internet, notably the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Communications Decency Act. The seminar aims to illuminate not only how law impacts the Internet, but how Internet-era technologies and services are, in turn, redefining intellectual property law itself. Because this area of the law continues to experience rapid change, new developments and entire topics can and do arise within the semester.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of this area of law, students are encouraged to bring new issues to class each week for discussion.
Students' grades will be based upon class participation (which includes a short in-class presentation on a topic of the student's selection) and a final paper.