LL4AA      Half Unit
Global Copyright Policy: Contemporary Issues

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Ms Anne Barron NAB6.05


This course is available on the MSc in Law and Accounting, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Competition, Innovation, and Trade Law; Corporate and/or Commercial Law; Information Technology, Media and Communications Law; Intellectual Property Law, Legal Theory.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSE for You.


Students  must take Principles of Copyright Law (LL4N6)  in parallel with this course unless exempted by the course convenor.

Course content

The aim of this course is to subject global copyright policy, as reflected in the treaty and trade arrangements that underlie national copyright laws, to critical examination. The focus is on the arguments that have been advanced to justify and oppose the rapid recent expansion of copyright laws across the world, and how policy is being shaped by the technologies, institutions, discourses and investment strategies that sustain the global information industries. Discussion will be theoretically informed but organised around particular topics of contemporary concern. These will include, for example, the enforcement policies that have emerged in response to online copyright ‘piracy’, the policies that are buttressing the spread of end-user licence agreements as crucial legal instruments for structuring access to lawful digital content, and the policies that constrain the freedom of States to devise exceptions to copyright that meet domestic economic, social and cultural priorities.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (Yale UP 2006); Ronald Bettig, Copyrighting Culture (Westview Press, 1996); James Boyle, The Public Domain (Yale UP, 2008); Laurence Helfer and Graeme Austin, Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011); Tarleton Gillespie, Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture (MIT Press 2008); David Hesmondhalgh, The Cultural Industries 3rd ed. (Sage 2012); Adrian Johns, Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (University of Chicago Press 2011); Jessica Litman, Digital Copyright (Prometheus, 2006); Neil W. Netanel, Copyright’s Paradox (OUP 2008); Peter K. Yu (ed.), Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: Issues and Practices in the Digital Age (Praeger, 2007) (Vol. 1).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills