This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. The seminar focuses on traditional legal regimes and business models and the ways in which new technologies (particularly the evolution of digital media and the Internet) have affected legal and business strategies involved in the making and distribution of content. The course's primary emphases are music and the ways in which legal principles manifest themselves in practice in the music industry. The seminar builds off a discussion of music rights to address issues surrounding content rights in other contexts (e.g., news media), and it reviews the ways in which traditional concepts and practices in this area are challenged by and evolving in the digital world. The course balances discussions of big-picture doctrinal, policy, and theoretical considerations with a focus on day-to-day legal and business practices and specific skills (transactional, client counseling, and litigation) that are relevant to practitioners in this area. A prior course or other background in copyright law would be useful but is not required.
Students may also wish to consider taking the Cyberlaw clinic in the Fall, Winter, or Spring semesters.