Law Schedule of Classes

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

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

278.61 sec. 001 - Technological Disruption and Social Justice (Spring 2021)

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


Tu 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 19, 2021
To March 02, 2021

Course Start: January 19, 2021
Course End: March 02, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 33369
Class Number: 33369

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 18
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 18
As of: 05/08 05:45 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 and artificial intelligence for society. Topics will include: social media and targeted advertising; social media and electoral politics; AI and discrimination (civil rights, criminal law, venture capital institutions); the gig economy (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 are required to prepare a one page submission for each class (not including the first) with their reactions, thoughts, and questions regarding the videos/readings or other materials that they would like to bring into the discussion.

This class is designed to give students an extra opportunity to engage despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, this class will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. The total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

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

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:
Public Law and Policy
Social Justice and Public Interest

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