Law Schedule of Classes

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

278.61 sec. 001 - Technological Disruption and Social Justice (Fall 2020)

Instructor: Peter S. Menell  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only

Due to COVID-19, this class is remote for Fall 2020.
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Tu 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From August 18, 2020
To September 29, 2020

Course Start: August 18, 2020
Course End: September 29, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 34335

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 9
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 11
As of: 12/07 09:41 AM

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 building on pioneering inventions and expressive works. The digital/information revolution - encompassing the Internet, file-sharing, mobile telecommunications, social media (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube), online advertising, the sharing economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb), autonomous vehicles, and AI/machine learning - has transformed society. These changes have profound ramifications for social justice - from control of knowledge dissemination, creative freedom, discrimination in labor markets, criminal justice, electoral politics, military/weapon capability, to 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 first session will trace the history of technological disruption, intellectual property, regulation, freedom of expression, and philosophical perspectives on social justice. Subsequent sessions will discuss and debate the ramifications of digital technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning for society. Illustrative topics will include: file-sharing, social media and targeted advertising; social media and electoral politics; AI and discrimination (civil rights, criminal law); online markets (Uber, Airbnb) and regulation; and job displacement and inequality. Students do not need technology backgrounds to participate fully in the seminar. We welcome a broad range of students.

As preparation for most sessions, participants will view documentaries or other engaging videos. There will also be some background readings for some sessions. We will also have some guest experts.

Students will be required to prepare short essays on two selected topics and serve as a co-discussion leader for two topics.

This class is among the special Fall 2020 1L elective seminars designed to give entering 1Ls an extra opportunity to form connections despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, these classes will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. These classes will all be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis and total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

Real-time attendance at the first Zoom 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 or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

This course is only open to 1Ls.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Intellectual Property and Technology Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
First Year Courses
Public Law and Policy
Social Justice and Public Interest

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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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