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Fall 2015

Copyright & Trademark

This course surveys primarily the laws and policies of copyright and trademark law, with a secondary emphasis on related areas of law such as trade secret, rights of publicity, unfair competition, contractual protection of ideas and patent protection of inventions in varying degrees. Topics to be covered include the subject matter of copyright and trademark; ownership and transfer of copyrights and trademarks; the rights afforded to copyright and trademark owners; duration of protection; infringement; and remedies.

Casebook: Nard, Madison, McKenna, The Law of Intellectual Property (4th) (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Casebook Series).

Impact of New Technologies in Entertainment Law

This seminar covers and analyzes the cutting edge legal issues and principles, developments, and business practices in the entertainment industry. Primary emphasis is on the impact of digital technology and the Internet in the film, television, publishing and music industries, but the course may also address fashion, gaming, and virtual worlds and their currencies. Although the specific topics covered in a given semester will vary and be driven by the current headlines, likely areas of interest include constitutional protection of entertainment projects, copyright protection, creative control, credit, defamation, enforcement of contracts, idea disclosure, impact of new technologies, marketing of entertainment product, privacy, right of publicity, social regulation of entertainment products, talent representatives and trademark protection.

Each student will be expected to participate in class discussions (including weekly “hot topics” debates), maintain a Twitter account specifically for this class to microblog about issues relevant to the class, write a paper of publishable quality on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the professor, and make an in-class presentation on the topic.

Prerequisites: None Grade: Examination and group presentation or drafting assignment


Sherri L. Burr, Entertainment Law (West) & companion Nutshell).

Tonya M. Evans, Contracts Companion for Writers (Legal Write Publications).

Spring 2016

Wills & Trusts

The course covers in testate succession; testamentary capacity; execution, revocation and component parts of wills; interpretation of wills; constructive trusts; will substitutes; creation and interpretation of inter vivo and testamentary trusts; future interests; the Rule Against Perpetuities; and ethical and practical considerations in drafting wills and trusts. The course may cover charitable trusts; powers of appointment; fiduciary responsibility; administration of trusts and estates; introduction to estate and gift tax law.

CasebookGary, Borison et. al., Contemporary Trusts and Estates: An Experiential Approach (2d ed. 2014, Aspen)  ISBN-13: 978-1454851424

Property II

Property II is a continuation of Property I. It explores the law of  private land use control law through easements, covenants, and servitudes and public land use control law through governmental police powers and eminent domain.

Casebook: Dukeminier et al., Property (8th ed. 2014, Wolters Kluwer)

Other Classes

Property I

This course studies the basic elements of the law of real and personal property. Topics in personal property may include ownership and possession, finders’ rights, bailments, bona fide purchasers, gifts, bank accounts, and accession. Topics involving real property include adverse possession, estates and future interests, marital interests, concurrent ownership, and landlord-tenant law. The course may also include other topics which are covered in more detail in upper level electives: nuisance law, zoning, constitutional limitations on public land use regulations, eminent domain, private land use restrictions (easements, licenses, servitudes), and real estate conveyancing and recording.

Entertainment Law

The course will provide a practical and comprehensive overview of the business and legal issues arising in the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, music, book publishing and ethics. The topics will include acquisition of rights, talent agreements, project financing and structures, distributor and licensing agreements. The course will survey the various areas of the law that impact the entertainment industry, such as contract, business organizations, securities, labor, copyright, trademark and right of privacy/publicity law.

Prerequisites: None Grade: Examination and group presentation or drafting assignment

Materials: Entertainment Law, by Stephanie Burr. I may also provide additional materials throughout the semester to supplement course coverage.

Copyright in the 21st Century

Copyright law has become an increasingly complex area, particularly in the face of new technologies that challenge and call into question existing copyright laws and doctrines. This advanced copyright seminar explores these legal complexities and relevant policy considerations in light of Twenty-First century realities. Specifically it will provide an in-depth analysis of selected areas of copyright law that, in addition to coverage of the substantive law, may include: 1) copyright and the Internet, 2) music copyright creation and exploitation, and 3) the fair use doctrine. Students will generate a position paper midway through the course of approximately 2 double-spaced pages in length and a final scholarly work on the same topic of approximately 20 pages in length with proper citations. The final paper is due on the last day of class.

Requirements: Basic understanding of intellectual property helpful but no prerequisites. Grade: Abstract, Rough Draft, Final Paper and presentation  (no exam)

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