Michael W. Carroll

Professor of Law
Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Office: Room 348
Phone: 202-274-4047
E-mail: vCard


Michael W. Carroll is Professor of Law and the Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (2009- present). He teaches and writes about intellectual property law and cyberlaw. Professor Carroll's research focuses on the search for balance in intellectual property law over time in the face of challenges posed by new technologies. His research includes projects about the social costs imposed by one-size-fits-all intellectual property rights and about the history of copyright in music.

Professor Carroll also is recognized as a leading advocate for open access over the Internet to the research that appears in scholarly and scientific journals. He has written white papers and has given numerous presentations to university faculty, administrators, and staff around the country on this issue. In addition, he speaks about and promotes publication of open educational resources and open scientific data.

Professor Carroll is a founding member of Creative Commons, Inc. (2001 – present), a global organization that provides free, standardized copyright licenses to enable and to encourage legal sharing of creative and other copyrighted works. He also serves on the Board of the Public Library of Science (2012- present) and recently completed service on the National Research Council’s Board on Research Data and Information (2008-2013). He is a member of the Editorial Board of I/S Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society (2006 – Present). In addition, he is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology (2009- Present) and a member of the Advisory Board of Public Knowledge (2009-Present).

Prior to joining the WCL faculty, Professor Carroll taught at the Villanova University School of Law (2001-09), and he served as a law clerk to Judge Judith W. Rogers, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Joyce Hens Green, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (1996-97; 2000-01) (now WilmerHale) in Washington, D.C. Prior to entering law school, Professor Carroll was a journalist in Chicago, a high school teacher in Zimbabwe, and a project assistant at the Africa-America Institute, where he worked on providing election monitoring and election assistance in Africa. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Chicago.



Areas of Specialization

  • Contracts
  • Copyright Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Information Law and Privacy
  • International Intellectual Property
  • Internet and Computer Law

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center 1996
  • A.B, University of Chicago 1986

  • + Selected Publications

    • Michael W. Carroll, The Role of Copyright Law in Academic Journal Publishing, in Working Within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property (Rochelle Dreyfuss, Harry First & Diane Zimmerman, eds., Oxford U. Press 2010).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Fair Use and Creative Commons Licenses, in Risk and Entrepreneurship (Pamela Bluh & Cindy Hepfer, eds., Assn. for Lib. Collections & Technical Serv. 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Framework for Tailoring Intellectual Property Rights, 70 Ohio St. L.J. __ (forthcoming 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Fixing Fair Use, 85 N.C. L. Rev. 1087 (2007).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Patent Injunctions and the Problem of Uniformity Cost, 13 Mich. Telecommun. & Tech. L. Rev. 421 (2007).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Creative Commons as Conversational Copyright, in Intellectual Property and Information Wealth, 445-461 (Peter Yu, ed., Praeger 2007).
    • Michael W. Carroll, The Movement for Open Access Law, 10 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 741 (2006).
    • Michael W. Carroll, One for All: The Problem of Uniformity Cost in Intellectual Property Law, 15 Am. U. L. Rev. 845 (2006).
    • Michael W. Carroll, The Struggle for Music Copyright, 57 Fla. L. Rev. 907 (2005).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Whose Music Is It Anyway?: How We Came To View Musical Expression As A Form Of Property, 72 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1405 (2004).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Disruptive Technology and Common Law Lawmaking: A Brief Analysis of A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 9 Vill. Sports & Ent. L.J. 5 (2002).
  • + Selected Presentations

    • Michael W. Carroll, Keynote, Creative Commons and the Copyright Neutrality Principle (2009 Campus Party, CampusBlog & Software Libre, Bogotá, Colom., July 11, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Copyright Licensing and Creative Commons (2009 International Workshop on Copyright Industries and Intellectual Property, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, P.R.C., June 15, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Copyright and the Role of Machines in Cultural Production (Age of Digital Convergence Conference, Hong Kong University (host) & Vanderbilt University Law School, Hong Kong, P.R.C., June 13, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Copyrightable Subject Matter and the Internal Progress Narrative (Conference on the 100th Anniversary of the Copyright Act of 1909, Santa Clara University School of Law (host) & Berkeley School of Law, Santa Clara, Cal., Apr. 30, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Keynote, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Age (Conference on the Future of Intellectual Property, Goethe-Institut, Brussels, Belg., Apr. 23, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Open Access and Author Control of Copyright (Scholarly Communication Program, Columbia University Libraries, N.Y.C., N.Y., Apr. 8, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Open Access and Author Control of Copyright (Digital Futures Forum, American University Library, Wash., D.C., Mar. 31, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Imperial and Federated Concepts of Copyright Law (George Washington University School of Law, Wash., D.C., Mar. 19, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, The Relation Between Intellectual Property and Information Justice (University of Puerto Rico Law School, San Juan, P.R., Feb. 27, 2009).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Commentor, User-Generated Content, Social Networking & Virtual Worlds (Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2008).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Keynote Lecture, Copyright and Your Right to Use and Share Your Scholarly Materials (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, Oct. 31, 2008).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Open Access (Conference on Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Academy, SUNY New Paltz, Oct. 24, 2008).
    • Michael W. Carroll, Presentation, Uniformity Cost and a Framework for Tailoring Intellectual Property Right (25th Congress of the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property, Co-sponsored by the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law (MPI), and with the assistance of the European Patent Office (EPO), Munich, Ger., July 21, 2008).

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