Intellectual Property Policy Online: A Young Person's Guide

66 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017

See all articles by James Boyle

James Boyle

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: September 1, 1996


This is an edited version of a presentation to the "Intellectual Property Online" panel at the Harvard Conference on the Internet and Society, May 28-31, 1996. The panel was a reminder of both the importance of intellectual property and the dangers of legal insularity. Of approximately 400 panel attendees, 90% were not lawyers. Accordingly, the remarks that follow are an attempt to lay out the basics of intellectual property policy in a straight forward and non-technical manner.

In other words, this is what non-lawyers should know (and what a number of government lawyers seem to have forgotten) about intellectual property policy on the Internet. The legal analysis which underlies this discussion is set out in the Appendix.

Keywords: internet, copyright, public domain, infringement, fair use

Suggested Citation

Boyle, James, Intellectual Property Policy Online: A Young Person's Guide (September 1, 1996). Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1996, Available at SSRN: or

James Boyle (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

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Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
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919-613-7287 (Phone)
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