Summer 2022 Course Schedule

Copyright, Licensing, & Open Licenses (Online) (LAW-785-E001)
Michael Carroll

Meets: 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM (TuWThF)

Enrolled: 9 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


This class will be offered online with some pre-recorded lectures, that should be watched prior to the first class. The lectures provide necessary background to make the online classes more interactive and effective.


This class focuses on the interaction between copyright law and standardized open copyright licenses, particularly open source software licenses and Creative Commons licenses. Using research as a case study, the course demonstrates how open licenses benefit users and why some copyright owners adopt open licenses. For example, significant amounts of commercial software are “open source,” meaning that the code comes with a copyright license that permits free copying and modification subject to certain conditions. Examples include the Firefox and Chrome web browsers, the Android operating system, and many programs that operate web servers. There also are more than 1 billion works of authorship – such as scientific publications and open educational resources – available on the Internet under one of the Creative Commons licenses. Attorneys increasingly are being called upon to help clients understand, interpret and comply with these licenses. This class is open to all: No prior experience with copyright or the technical aspects of software is required. Assessment is by a two-hour take-home examination. The course will cover the following: Class 1: The basics of copyright licensing Class 2: A basic understanding of copyright in software and introduction to free and open source licensing, including the case law. Class 3: Comparing the important terms in the major open source licenses, including the GNU GPL’s “copyleft” or “viral” licensing condition Class 4: Creative Commons licenses and their use in research, education, and how they have been intepreted by the courts.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

There is no textbook for this class. All materials will be available through the Canvas course page or the open Internet.

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.