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The True Origins of the Copyright Infringement Analysis
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When: November 29th
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Where: Dorsey & Whitney LLP
701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6100
Seattle 98104-7043­
United States
Contact: Roger

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The True Origins of the Copyright Infringement Analysis



The modern copyright infringement analysis is usually traced back to the Second Circuit’s landmark decision in Arnstein v. Porter (1948). In the years since, most circuits around the country (including the Ninth Circuit) have adopted some version of the Arnstein-framework in their jurisprudence. While the framework has come under much criticism over the years, it continues to remain deeply influential. This talk will examine the true origins of the case and the framework for infringement that it produced. The talk will be based on a historical and jurisprudential analysis of the case (published in Shyamkrishna Balganesh, The Questionable Origins of the Copyright Infringement Analysis, 68 Stan. L. Rev. 791 (2016)) and argue that the decision, as well as the framework for infringement that it produced, were both products of the judicial personalities involved in the case and their competing legal philosophies—rather than copyright law and policy.


Shyamkrishna Balganesh is a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His scholarship focuses on understanding how intellectual property and innovation policy can benefit from the use of ideas, concepts and structures from different areas of the common law, especially private law. He is currently working on a book that examines the intellectual history and jurisprudential evolution of American copyright law since the nineteenth century. He is also a coauthor on sections relating to the idea-expression dichotomy and the copyrightability of photographs in the leading copyright law treatise, Nimmer on Copyright. Professor Balganesh is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and since 2015 he has served as an Adviser to the ALI’s Project Restatement of the Law, Copyright.

Professor Balganesh obtained his J.D. from the Yale Law School, where he was an Articles & Essays Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Prior to that he obtained a B.C.L. (Dist.) and M.Phil in Law from Balliol College, Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also holds a B.A., LL.B (Hons.) from the National Law School of India University. 



Members: $25
Non-members: $39

Students: $19  |  Must present valid student ID at the door

Lunch served.


Program will satisfy 1 WA CLE credit pending Washington State Bar approval.

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