Spring 2013

Prof. William Fisher


All of the materials for this course are available online. They can be obtained in either of two ways: each entry in the syllabus contains a link to a PDF version of the document in question; and the entire set of readings can be obtained, in the form of an H2O "playlist," at this site: A guide to the use of the H2O software is available here. The abridgments of the cases are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike 2.5 License, the terms of which are available here.

The 12 recorded lectures for the class may be watched or downloaded by following the links on this page:

The lecture notes for the course, in the form of two interactive PDF "maps," may be downloaded from the following website: Maps.htm.



Week 1

Lecture: The Foundations of Copyright Law

Discussion (January 28, 3:20 p.m.): Originality

Discussion (January 29, 3:20 p.m.): The Idea/Expression Distinction

Week 2

Lecture: Fairness and Personality Theories

Discussion (February 4, 3:20 p.m.): Labor v. Personhood

Discussion (February 5, 3:20 p.m.): Nonfiction

Event (February 6, 7:00 p.m., Milstein East B): The Interests of Authors


Week 3

Lecture: The Subject Matter of Copyright

Discussion (February 11, 3:20 p.m.): Useful Articles

Discussion (February 12, 3:20 p.m.): Software

Event (February 13, 7:00 p.m., Milstein East B): IP Protection for Fashion

Week 4

Lecture: Welfare Theory

Discussion (Feburary 18, 3:20 p.m.): Applications of Welfare Theory

Discussion (February 19, 3:20 p.m.): Alternatives to Copyright

Week 5

Lecture: Authorship

Discussion (February 25, 3:20 p.m.): Multiple Authors

Discussion (February 26, 3:20 p.m.): Works for Hire

Event (Feburary 27, 7:00 p.m., Milstein West A): Extralegal Norms

Week 6

Lecture: The Mechanics of Copyright

Discussion (March 4, 3:20 p.m.): Copyright and Parentalism

Discussion (March 5, 3:20 p.m.): The Boundary between Copyright and the Public Domain

Week 7

Lecture: The Rights to Reproduce and Modify

Discussion (March 11-12, 3:20 p.m.): “Probative Similarity” and “Substantial Similarity”

Discussion (March 12, 3:20 p.m.): Derivative Works

Week 8

Lecture: The Rights to Distribute, Perform, and Display

Discussion (March 25, 3:20 p.m.): Distribution and First Sale

Discussion (March 26, 3:20 p.m.): Performances

Week 9

Lecture: Fair Use and Misuse

Discussion (April 1, 3:20 p.m.): Fair Use in the Supreme Court

Discussion (April 2, 3:20 p.m.): Fair Use Problems

Event (April 3, 7:00 p.m., Austin East): Appropriation Art

Week 10

Lecture: Cultural Theory

Discussion (April 8, 3:20 p.m.): Moral Rights in the United States

Discussion (April 9, 3:20 p.m.): Traditional Knowledge

Week 11

Lecture: Supplements to Copyright: Secondary Liability and Para-copyright

Discussion (April 15, 3:20 p.m.): Secondary Liability

Discussion (April 16, 3:20 p.m.): Technological Protection Measures

Event (April 17, 7:00 p.m., Milstein West B): Free Culture

Week 12

Lecture: Remedies

Discussion (April 22, 3:20 p.m.): Damages

Discussion (April 23, 3:20 p.m.): Injunctions and Crimes

Event (April 24, 7:00 p.m., Milstein East B): Orphan Works and Digital Libraries


Reference Materials:

Version 2.0

Last modified: March 24, 2013

William Fisher