A Balanced Approach
The Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology’s strong and expanding curriculum emphasizes both theory and practice. Not only do students explore a broad base of concepts at the heart of this emerging field—they also can develop their lawyering skills while establishing new legal precedent through the Stanford Center for Internet and Society’s Fair Use Project. Working with a wide range of content creators—including filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers, and scholars—the Fair Use Project provides legal support to clarify and extend the boundaries of “fair use” in order to enhance creative freedom.
Stanford’s leadership in law, science, and technology rests on a substantive program that melds theoretical insight and practical experience.
We start with a curriculum at the frontier of legal scholarship, with courses covering familiar and emerging issues. In LST courses, students can investigate how property and contract law are going high-tech, explore the interplay of technology and globalization, study the impact of electronic media on First Amendment rights, learn about crime on the high-tech frontier, or explore law’s connection with biotechnology, health, or genetics. And where else but Stanford could you learn about the complex issues of Internet business from the legal department of Google?
Every day, Stanford Law’s Fair Use Project tackles law, science, and technology issues that set precedents and make headlines.
High profile cases address these questions:
Michigan-based RDR Books planned to publish The Harry Potter Lexicon, a fan-written reference guide to the world of Harry Potter. Does the creation of reference guides to works of literature constitute “fair use,” or can author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. claim copyright infringement?
When Floyd Webb used images and logos related to the Black Dragon Fighting Society in trailers and on the Web to promote his documentary on martial arts legend Count Dante (who founded the society), the son of a Dante protégé sent takedown notices and cease-and-desist letters. Does Webb have a right to use the material or is it copyright-protected?
Premise Media used a 15-second clip of John Lennon’s song Imagine in their documentary on intelligent design and other alternate theories of evolution. Does the unauthorized use violate copyright and trademark law, as Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono and sons Sean and Julian claim?
English Professor Carol Shloss wanted to post certain James Joyce materials on her website. Can the estate of James Joyce call on copyright laws to prevent her from doing so?
For more information on these and other cases visit the Fair Use Project.
It really sends a message to people in Carol’s position. Often what happens is that the mere threat of legal action is enough to scare [academics] off, and it leads to self-censorship.Anthony Falzone
on the settlement English professor Carol Shloss received from the estate of James Joyce, in The National Law Journal, September 2009. Joyce’s estate had sued Shloss for copyright infringement for her use of excerpts from Joyce’s writings in her book on the author’s daughter