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CopyrightX: Introduction to U.S. Copyright

Lehrveranstaltungstyp: Kurs
Veranstaltungssemester: WiSe 16/17
Dozent(en): Liebenau Diana
Zeit und Ort: Fr. 10:15 - 11:45h, Ludwigstraße 29, Raum 209

Informationen und Hinweise


Detailed information on how to take the exam has been sent out by email.

Course Description

CopyrightX is a course developed by Professor Terry Fisher at Harvard Law School; it is hosted and supported by the HarvardX distance-learning initiative and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Through a combination of pre-recorded lectures, readings, seminars, live webcasts, and online discussions, the participants in these courses examine and assess the ways in which law seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression.

It consists of a residential course at Harvard Law School, an online course, and a network of affiliated courses offered by several universities and other institutions outside the United States. “CopyrightX: Introduction to U.S. Copyright” is one of these affiliated courses.

By German law school standards, CopyrightX is an unusual course in four respects.

  1. Pedagogy: Each week before class, students watch a pre-recorded lecture by Professor Fisher (approximately 90 minutes). Students are also required to read the materials provided in the syllabus. In class, we will discuss case studies which explore in more depth the law and theories introduced in the recorded lecture and the readings. Instead of distributing an outline or powerpoint slides, the course uses mind maps to summarize the course takeaways.
  2. Curriculum: Classes on theory and law alternate. The course has a strong focus on policy to enable students to participate in recent debates on intellectual property with an opinion informed by theory. The course also has a comparative angle.
  3. Logistics: Any student at LMU can attend the course. However, registration and regular attendance is required if students wish to obtain a certificate. Regular attendance means not missing class more than twice (excluding the introductory session in week 0). The language of instruction is English. It is not a prerequisite for students to have taken Professor Ohly’s lecture on German and European Copyright.
  4. Network: CopyrightX is a networked course so that residential, online and affiliated courses are designed to be parallel. There is an opportunity (not an obligation) to interact with these other groups of students through webcasts with invited speakers in Harvard and an online discussion forum. However, due to the fact that semester times in Germany and the United States are misaligned, the Munich affiliate course will not be able to harness the full benefit of being a networked course. Nevertheless, I am committed to having at least one invited speaker joining us for discussion.


Week 0 – October 21, 2016: Introduction and Logistics

  • See here for an introduction to the US legal system.

Week 1 – October 28, 2016: The Foundations of Copyright Law

Week 2 – November 4, 2016: Fairness and Personality Theories

Week 3 – November 11, 2016: The Subject Matter of Copyright

Week 4 – November 18, 2016: Welfare Theory

Week 5 – November 25, 2016: Authorship

Week 6 – December 2, 2016: The Mechanics of Copyright

Week 7 – December 9, 2016: The Rights to Reproduce and Modify

Week 8 – December 16, 2016: The Rights to Distribute, Perform, and Display

Week 9 – January 13, 2017: Fair Use

Week 10 – January 20, 2017: Cultural Theory

Week 11 – January 27, 2017: Supplements to Copyright - Secondary Liability and Para-copyright

Week 12 – February 10, 2017: Remedies/review for exam prep

  • Remember to watch the lecture videos and do the readings for each week. If you have trouble understanding the lecture videos, transcripts are available here.
  • For your reference, mindmaps are available. Note that there are two distinct mind maps for law and theory.

Exam information

LLM and Erasmus students: You cannot take this course for academic credit.

State exam students: You cannot take this course to fulfil the mandatory language requirement according to Ausbildungs- und Prüfungsordnung für Juristen (JAPO).

The exam will be a take-home exam. The exam period opens on April 27th, 2017 and students may take the exam in a 96-hour window beginning on this date (exact start and end times as well as more details TBA). Previous exams can be found here.


Last modified: February 09, 2017