Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

278.6 sec. 001 - Technological Disruption Seminar (Spring 2019)

Instructor: Peter S. Menell  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 3


    Tu 6:25 PM - 9:05 PM
    Location: Law 141
    From January 08, 2019
    To February 19, 2019

    Tu 6:25 PM - 9:05 PM
    Location: Law 134
    From February 26, 2019
    To April 19, 2019

Course Start: January 08, 2019
Course End: April 19, 2019

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 18
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 18
As of: 06/11 02:48 PM

For nearly all segments of American society and a growing portion of the world, life increasingly revolves around intellectual creativity, technological disruption, entrepreneurship, and the digital domain. Intellectual property has driven technological change, but it has at times hampered cumulative creativity- building on pioneering inventions and works. The digital/information revolution - encompassing the Internet, file-sharing, mobile telecommunications, social media (Facebook/Twitter), online advertising, the sharing economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb), autonomous vehicles, medical diagnosis, education, the Internet of Things, and AI - has transformed society. These changes have profound ramifications for social justice - from access to life-saving genetic information, medical diagnoses, and treatments to the control of knowledge dissemination, creative freedom, discrimination in labor markets, criminal justice, electoral politics, military/weapon capability , and distribution of wealth and opportunity. Increasingly rapid technological advances portend further imaginable and unimaginable disruptions to come.

This seminar will explore the policy tensions and social justice ramifications associated with technological disruption. The early sessions will expose students to philosophy/social justice, intellectual property, legal/policy analysis (markets, regulation, and rights), digital technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The seminar will then convene a series of debates about salient technological disruptions and their ramifications. Illustrative topics include: social media and targeted advertising; AI and discrimination (civil rights, criminal law); online markets (Uber, Airbnb) and regulation; autonomous weapons; job displacement; AI and copyright protection (can AI create copyrighted works? If so, who owns them?); ferreting out AI-related problems (trade secrecy and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act). We will select the debate topics in consultation with the class.

Students are required to co-lead one debate (with a partner), attend and participate in all of the debates, and prepare a 15-20 page policy paper analyzing one of the debate topics. (It can be any of the debates covered in the seminar.) The class will be open to graduate students across the campus.

To apply complete the application by November 2nd and send to Professor Peter Menell ( which can be found as a "Supplemental File" at the bottom of this page.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Intellectual Property and Technology Law

The following file is available for this course:

Supplemental File

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may edit your files on this page.

No reader.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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