5. HLS1X: CopyrightX

CopyrightX is an online course on Copyright Law.  It is a twelve-week networked course, offered each Spring under the auspices of HarvardX, Harvard Law School, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.  The course explores the current law of copyright and the ongoing debates concerning how that law should be reformed. Through a combination of pre-recorded lectures, weekly seminars, live webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course examine and assess the ways in which law seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression.

HLS1X was first offered as a HarvardX massive open online course (MOOC) in Spring 2013. It was taught by Professor William Fisher. Modified versions will be offered in the spring semesters of 2014 and 2015.  This document describes and evaluates the 2013 version and outlines plans for the 2014 version.

As the wheels of CopyrightX begin to turn, the course tries to deliver on all promises of online education: it proliferates useful knowledge beyond Harvard, it lets students learn by teaching, and it enriches the classroom environment by giving more time to discussion of hard problems. It also is not massive, open, or entirely online. “This is an old idea—it’s basically the way seminars have been run for centuries,” Fisher said. “But it remains a good one.” – The New Yorker, May 20, 2013

Fisher, W. (2014). CopyrightX: Spring 2013 course report (HarvardX Working Paper Series No. 5).