Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) First semester 2015 (Evening)


Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.


CopyrightX: Monash is based on materials developed by William Fisher for CopyrightX at Harvard Law School. Online lectures are recorded by Professor Fisher, and weekly seminars are conducted at Monash. Students in this course will have an opportunity to participate in online discussions of copyright-related issues with students at Harvard and at several other universities.The unit explores US copyright law and the ongoing debates about how the law should be reformed. The unit will cover:

  1. theory - the arguments, drawn primarily from economics, political theory, and philosophy, concerning why and how the law should regulate uses of expressive materials;
  2. doctrine - the rules currently in force concerning uses of expressive materials and the ways in which those rules are typically interpreted and applied; and
  3. practice - how those rules affect various fields of art, industry, and culture, including literature, music, film, photography, journalism, software design, architecture, fashion, comedy and games.


Upon completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to IP law from a comparative perspective. Students will gain insights and the capacity to critique the law and its underlying policies by drawing upon economics, political theory, and philosophy, concerning why and how the law should regulate uses of expressive materials.
  2. Students should be enabled to:

a. critically evaluate the role of intellectual property in the US and internationally within a market economy including the manner in which key norms and values such as equity, efficiency and justice influence the policy debate; and

b. critically assess the impact of key IP policy choices.

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in US and international policy with creativity and initiative to new situations in the practical administration of the law. Refine skills of policy analysis to interpret, synthesise and critically evaluate legislative provisions and case law from a broader policy perspective.
  2. Conduct research in IP policy based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods.
  3. Use cognitive, technical, creative and collaborative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to US IP law and policy in both oral and written form.


One three hour exam: 70%
One take-home examination (1,500 words): 30%
Both the exam and the take-home exam will be the same exams that are undertaken by the Harvard law students.

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)

Chief examiner(s)