322 Copyright Law

This is a comprehensive course in copyright law. We will examine the legal rights used to protect works of creative expression such as literature, music, film, photography, artworks, and choreography, but also – interestingly, and perhaps anomalously – software, something the Supreme Court just addressed in 2021. The class will cover some of the fundamental pillars of the world of creative expression in which we all live—the economic and legal architecture of our culture. This is because copyright’s rules provide the economic incentives that influence our creative output as well as part of the legal framework that shapes our communications technology.  In the digital world, copyright is implicated in everything from the “digital rights management” used by streaming services to the “safe harbors” that protect search engines and social media from liability when they index or host content that might be infringing. Copyright’s protections also interact with free speech—when is it a “fair use” to use a copyrighted work in the course of free expression? The broad impact of copyright law means that it is of importance to a wide range of legal practice and not merely to the specialist. No technical background is needed.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Final Exam
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Lecture
Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law

Sample Syllabi

Spring 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Final Exam
Jennifer Jenkins M/W 2:00-3:25 PM 4042

This is a comprehensive course in copyright law. We will examine the legal rights used to protect works of creative expression such as literature, music, film, photography, artworks, and choreography, but also – interestingly, and perhaps anomalously – software, something the Supreme Court just addressed in 2021. The class will cover some of the fundamental pillars of the world of creative expression in which we all live—the economic and legal architecture of our culture. This is because copyright’s rules provide the economic incentives that influence our creative output as well as part of the legal framework that shapes our communications technology.  In the digital world, copyright is implicated in everything from the “digital rights management” used by streaming services to the “safe harbors” that protect search engines and social media from liability when they index or host content that might be infringing. Copyright’s protections also interact with free speech—when is it a “fair use” to use a copyrighted work in the course of free expression? The broad impact of copyright law means that it is of importance to a wide range of legal practice and not merely to the specialist. No technical background is needed.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Final Exam
Jerome H. Reichman Tu/Th 2:00 PM-3:25 PM

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2019

2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Final Exam
Jerome H. Reichman M/W 2:00-3:25 PM 4042

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2019

2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Final Exam
Jerome H. Reichman Tu/Th 2:00-3:25 PM 4055

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Final Exam
Jerome H. Reichman MW 2:00-3:25 PM 4047

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

Syllabus: 322.01.Spring2018-syllabus.pdf188.39 KB

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2016

2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

322.01 3
  • Scheduled in-class examination
Jerome H. Reichman MW 3:45-5:06 PM 4045

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.