519 - Intellectual Property and Information Law
This course explores related and sometimes competing legal and policy frameworks for the development and dissemination of ideas, and expression, and data in the Information Age. We will examine copyright, patent, and trademark law - as well as speech and privacy. We will look at ways in which principles of free speech and expression relate to intellectual property rights - and how these legal concepts are related to the advancement of knowledge and innovation. We will focus on these areas in a political and social context -- and their interrelation to the Internet and evolving technologies. We will consider the impact of ethics and values on the development and dissemination of ideas and information (such as security, privacy, local control v. national and international considerations, competition, and the protection of minors). The course will draw from the contexts of education, business, and government, with a special emphasis on the changing nature, roles and responsibilities of educational institutions. Each term starts with a conversation about students' particular interests, and the course is tailored appropriately where possible. Special topics from students have included cosplay, plant genetics, and fan fiction in the context of the course's themes.