On a select number of college campuses, students can take a class on copyright law outside the law school. I taught such a course, Digital Copyright, for six years at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. Most of these courses are primarily a vehicle for examining the intersection of technology, policy, and media industries. My course stands out for its strong focus on introducing undergraduates to legal research and analysis. With either strategy, such a course can be a valuable contribution to the curriculum, but I argue that it is especially valuable to use an interesting topic such as copyright as a vehicle for a class with a strong focus on legal methods.

This chapter explores the different strategies for teaching copyright, albeit focusing more on my own—discussing my course’s learning objectives, readings and materials covered, and the main writing assignment. Along the way, I compare and contrast it with the courses taught at other schools, exploring differences in strategy and how these classes might speak differently to different student populations. I also give several concrete suggestions based on my experiences teaching the class. I conclude with an argument that more colleges should consider adopting such courses on copyright, as well as courses with rigorous coverage of legal foundations.