About Joseph P. Liu
Joseph P. Liu is a Professor of Law at Boston College Law School, where he writes and teaches in the areas of copyright, trademark, property, and internet law. His main area of academic research is on the impact of digital technology on copyright law and markets, with a particular focus on how digital technology is changing the way individuals interact with copyrighted works.
Professor Liu has published extensively on copyright law issues in many law journals, including the Michigan Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and Indiana Law Journal. He has lectured extensively in the U.S. and in Asia, at institutions such as Harvard, Columbia, U.C. Berkeley, Georgetown, M.I.T., and Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the co-author (with Professor Alfred Yen) of the casebook, Copyright Law: Essential Cases and Materials(West 2008).
Prior to joining the Boston College Law School faculty in 2001, Professor Liu was an Assistant Professor at U.C. Hastings College of Law (2000-01) and a Climenko Teaching Fellow at Harvard Law School (1997-98). Professor Liu previously practiced in Boston at Foley Hoag & Eliot, where he specialized in intellectual property litigation, securities litigation, and white collar criminal defense. He also served for several years as Vice President and General Counsel to BuyerZone.com, a venture-backed, business-to-business internet start-up company. He has consulted on a number of cases involving copyright law and digital technology.
Professor Liu clerked for the Honorable Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1994-95). He received his B.A. in Physics and Philosophy in 1989 from Yale University, and his J.D. in 1994 from Columbia Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Law Review. He also earned an L.L.M. from Harvard University in 1999.
- Fall 2016: Intellectual Property Survey, Copyright
- Spring 2017: Trademark and Unfair Competition Law
Professor of Law
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
East Wing 313
Fair Use, Notice Failure, and the Limits of Copyright as Property Boston University Law Review (2016)
If we start with the assumption that copyright law creates a system of property rights, to what extent does this system give adequate notice to third parties regarding the scope of such rights, particularly given ...
Sports Merchandizing, Publicity Rights, and the Missing Role of the Sports Fan Boston College Law Review (2011)
Sports fans play a tremendously important role in the success and popularity of sports teams and the enterprise of sports in general. It is somewhat curious, then, that fan interests are almost entirely missing from ...
Toward a Defense of Fair Use Enablement Journal of the Copyright Society, U.S.A. (2010)
This Essay uses a personal anecdote to highlight a gap in current copyright law. Under current copyright doctrine, companies sued for direct copyright infringement are not generally able to assert the fair use arguments of ...
Copyright and Breathing Space Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts (2007)
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, copyright law's fair use and idea/expression doctrines are "built-in free speech safeguards" that establish a "definitional balance" between copyright and the First Amendment. Yet these "built-in free speech safeguards" ...
Copyright Law and Subject Matter Specificity: The Case of Computer Software New York University Annual Survey of American Law (2005)
Drawing on recent work by Dan Burk and Mark Lemley in the patent context, this paper explores the extent to which courts have adapted pre-existing copyright doctrines to the special case of computer software. We ...
Regulatory Copyright North Carolina Law Review (2004)
This Article explores and examines the implications of the increasingly regulatory nature of U.S. copyright law. For many years, U.S. copyright law operated under a judicially-administered, industry-neutral property rights regime. Congress set the scope of ...
The DMCA and the Regulation of Scientific Research Berkeley Technology Law Journal (2003)
This Article analyzes the impact of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on academic encryption research. In this Article, I argue that for both legal and practical reasons academic encryption researchers should be able to ...
Owning Digital Copies: Copyright Law and the Incidents of Copy Ownership William & Mary Law Review (2001)
As copyrighted works are increasingly distributed in digital form over the Internet, our conventional print-based understandings of the rights associated with copy ownership are coming into increasing conflict with the copyright owner's right to restrict ...
Legitimacy and Authority in Internet Coordination: A Domain Name Case Study Indiana Law Journal (1999)
The process of crafting and promulgating technical standards for the internet is often hailed as a prime example of how coordinated activity can take place on a distributed network with little central authority or formal ...
Federal Jury Instructions and the Consequences of a Successful Insanity Defense Columbia Law Review (1993)
This Note argues that trial judges should instruct jurors about the consequences of an insanity verdict, but that judges must strive to minimize the potentially prejudicial impact of such an instruction by explicitly instructing the ...
Contributions to Books (1)
Paracopyright: A Peculiar Right to Control Access Intellectual Property at the Edge: The Contested Contours of IP (Cambridge University Press) (2014)
This Chapter analyzes the peculiar right to control access to copyrighted works, created by the U.S. Congress in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). It argues that Congress, when it enacted the DMCA, ...
On Video (2)
What Belongs in Copyright?, Keynote Address Copyright Outside the Box, Columbia Law School (2015)
Keynote address at the Columbia Law School conference, "Copyright Outside the Box," sponsored by the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts. The conference examined copyright in areas often omitted from the traditional discussion, ...
Saving Journalism from Itself? Hot News, Copyright Fair Use and News Aggregation Journalism's Digital Transition: Unique Legal Challenges and Opportunities, Harvard Law School (2010)
Served as a panelist at a conference at Harvard Law School on "Journalism's Digital Transition: Unique Legal Challenges and Opportunities," sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Selected Professional Activities (17)
Regulatory and Adjudicatory Functions of the Copyright Office A Copyright Office for the 21st Century, Duke Law School and NYU Law School (2016)
Invited to serve on a panel at the U.S. Capitol, addressing the future of the Copyright Office. Remarks focused on the idea of granting the Copyright Office greater substantive regulatory authority.