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Rebecca Tushnet

Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Rebecca Tushnet is the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard Law School. After clerking for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third Circuit and Associate Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court, she practiced intellectual property law at Debevoise & Plimpton before beginning teaching.

Her publications include “Worth a Thousand Words: The Images of Copyright Law” (Harvard L. Rev. 2012); “Gone in 60 Milliseconds: Trademark Law and Cognitive Science” (Texas L. Rev. 2008); and “Copy This Essay: How Fair Use Doctrine Harms Free Speech and How Copying Serves It” (Yale L.J. 2004). Her work currently focuses on copyright, trademark and false advertising law. Her blog, at tushnet.blogspot.com, has been on the ABA’s Blawg 100 list of top legal blogs for the past three years. Professor Tushnet helped found the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and promoting fanworks, and currently volunteers on its legal committee.

She is also an expert on the law of engagement rings.


Community

The New York Times

The Sleepy Copyright Office in the Middle of a High-Stakes Clash Over A.I.

Rebecca Tushnet comments on the Copyright Office's involvement in the determination of where AI fits into intellectual property laws.

Jan 25, 2024
The New Yorker

Holly Herndon’s Infinite Art

BKC Director Rebecca Tushnet comments on the copyright implications of A.I.-generated art.

Nov 13, 2023
The New York Times

Casey Goes to the White House + The Copyright Battle Over Artificial Intelligence + HatGPT

BKC Director Rebecca Tushnet joined the Hard Fork podcast to explain the latest developments in a lawsuit against the creators of AI image-generation tools.

Nov 3, 2023
404 Media

A Trademark Dispute Is Tearing the Tiny Film Photography Community Apart

Rebecca Tushnet explains that tradmark holders often make the argument that they have no choice but to try to enforce its trademark but this argument rarely holds water.

Oct 17, 2023
The Harvard Gazette

Key issues in writers' case against OpenAI explained

BKC Director Rebecca Tushnet explains key issues in the writers' case against OpenAI and discusses some of the broader legal issues around emerging tech. 

Sep 21, 2023
Marketplace

Why false advertising suits are on the rise in the fast-food industry

BKC Director Rebecca Tushnet explains the harms of false advertising and the need for remedies. 

Sep 20, 2023

Why This Award-Winning Piece of AI Art Can't Be Copyrighted

BKC Director Rebecca Tushnet comments on how copyright doctrine may apply to AI.

Sep 6, 2023
The Harvard Law Bulletin

How to think about AI

BKC Directors Rebecca Tushnet and Jonathan Zittrain comment on legal and ethical challenges that are associated with the development of AI.

Jun 27, 2023
Roll Call

Supreme Court to hear case on ‘Bad Spaniels’ v. Jack Daniel’s

Rebecca Tushnet discusses the Rogers test as a standard for trademark infringement which is implicated in a current Supreme Court case involving a dog toy company spoofing Jack…

Mar 21, 2023
Rolling Stone

A Harvard Law Professor Breaks Down Vogue’s Lawsuit Against Drake and 21 Savage

Rebecca Tushnet breaks down Vogue's seven-figure lawsuit for copyright infringement against Drake and 21 Savage. "Part of what makes…

Nov 14, 2022
Ars Technica

Rights holders got Google to remove 6 billion links from Search over 10 years

Lumen project manager Adam Holland and Rebecca Tushnet spoke about Google’s efforts to take down links considered pirated.

Oct 4, 2022
Bloomberg Law

First Amendment Hurdle Looms for California’s Social Media Law

Rebecca Tushnet discusses the potential challenges to California’s new social media law under the First Amendment. 

Sep 16, 2022
NPR

The Netflix v. 'Unofficial Bridgerton Musical' lawsuit, explained

Rebecca Tushnet comments on a lawsuit filed by Netflix against The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical based on the popular Netflix show.

Aug 4, 2022
protocol

What’s in a name? If the name is Meta, a lawsuit.

Rebecca Tushnet discusses a lawsuit over Facebook’s name change to Meta with a competing company staking out its claim to the same name.

Aug 3, 2022
Harvard Law Bulletin

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

The Harvard Law Bulletin showcases work from members of the Berkman Klein community on mis- and disinformation and the Center’s projects and programs that produce it.

Jun 14, 2021
Harvard Law Today

Memes for Sale? Making sense of NFTs

Rebecca Tushnet says lockdown boredom may be contributing to the rise of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs

May 19, 2021
The Markup

Ads Are Impersonating Government Websites in Google Results, Despite Ban

Rebecca Tushnet discusses advertising law with The Markup

May 13, 2021
The New York Times

Have Trump’s Lies Wrecked Free Speech?

Rebecca Tushnet in the New York Times

Jan 6, 2021
MIT Technology Review

Election robocalls: what we know and what we don’t

Rebecca Tushnet talks First Amendment and voter suppression campaigns

Nov 3, 2020
Legal Tech News

Supreme Court Justices Debate Generic .Com Trademark Registration

Amicus brief from Rebecca Tushnet cited by Supreme Court Justices

May 4, 2020
Bloomberg Law

Amazon’s Judging of IP Claims Questioned in Seller Lawsuits

As Amazon expands its reign over e-commerce and gets more aggressive about rooting out counterfeiting, it’s taking a more active role in judging intellectual property disputes

Feb 12, 2020
Harvard Law Today

Innovation, Justice and Globalization

From patent law to the challenges facing the digital commons, leading academics and policymakers from around the world discussed intellectual property issues at Harvard Law…

Oct 17, 2019
Wall Street Journal

Pressure Mounts on Facebook to Police Users’ Content

Following shooter’s live stream of mosque massacres, New Zealand, Australia join other jurisdictions seeking stricter regulations

Mar 27, 2019
New York Times

New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out

“It’s worse than the tax code. The copyright term is way too long now.”

Dec 29, 2018

Courses

Trademark and Unfair Competition - Spring 2024

This course will introduce students to the federal Lanham Act and related common law doctrines designed to protect against consumer confusion and appropriation of commercial…

Advertising Law - Spring 2024

This course covers legal regulation of advertising in the United States, with some comparison to other countries. Private causes of action by consumers and competitors, state…

Writing Group: Intellectual Property and Content Moderation - Fall 2023 - Spring 2024

For more information visit the Harvard Law School Course Catalog

Copyright - Fall 2023

This course examines the law of copyright and its role within the overall framework of intellectual property law. Topics covered include the subject matter requirements for…

Trademark and Unfair Competition - Spring 2023

This course will introduce students to the federal Lanham Act and related common law doctrines designed to protect against consumer confusion and appropriation of commercial…

Advertising Law - Spring 2023

This course covers legal regulation of advertising in the United States, with some comparison to other countries. Private causes of action by consumers and competitors, state…

Copyright - Fall 2022

This course examines the law of copyright and its role within the overall framework of intellectual property law. Topics covered include the subject matter requirements for…

Writing Group: Intellectual Property and Content Moderation - Fall 2022

For more information visit the Harvard Law School Course Catalog.&nbsp…

Trademark and Unfair Competition - Spring 2021

This course will introduce students to the federal Lanham Act and related common law doctrines designed to protect against consumer confusion and appropriation of commercial…

Copyright - Fall 2020

Professor Rebecca Tushnet This course examines the law of copyright and its role within the overall framework…

Advertising Law - Spring 2020

Professor Rebecca Tushnet This course covers legal regulation of…

Trademark and Unfair Competition - Spring 2020

Professor Rebecca Tushnet This course will introduce students to the…

Copyright - Fall 2019

Professor Rebecca Tushnet  This course examines the law of copyright and its role…

Advertising Law - Spring 2019

This course covers legal regulation of advertising in the United States, with some comparison to other countries.

Trademark and Unfair Competition - Spring 2019

Professor Rebecca Tushnet This course will introduce students to the federal Lanham Act and related common law…


Events

Oct 4, 2022 @ 12:00 PM

CHOKEPOINT CAPITALISM: how to beat Big Tech and Big Content to get artists paid

Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow on how Big Tech and Big Content captured creative labor markets, and how we'll win them back

In conversation with Rebecca Tushnet, Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow discuss ideas from their new book CHOKEPOINT CAPITALISM, deconstructing the playbook Big Tech and Big…

Sep 19, 2022 @ 5:00 PM

The Future of Online Lending: A Discussion of Controlled Digital Lending and Hachette with the Internet Archive

Join us for a discussion with Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, about the pending Hachette v. Internet Archive case and the future of digital libraries

Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, spoke about the pending Hachette v. Internet Archive case and the future of digital libraries. Kahle was…