Open Educational Resources


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This course is an introduction to copyright law and American law in general. Topics covered include: structure of federal law; basics of legal research; legal citations; how to use LexisNexis®; the 1976 Copyright Act; copyright as applied to music, computers, broadcasting, and education; fair use; Napster®, Grokster®, and Peer-to-Peer file-sharing; Library Access to Music Project; The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act; DVDs and encryption; software licensing; the GNU® General Public License and free software.

8 hours of lectures

4 lectures



Keith Jonathan Winstein is a U.S. computer scientist and journalist.He is currently the Claude E. Shannon Research Assistant at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory's Networks and Mobile Systems group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursuing a Ph.D. under Hari Balakrishnan. Winstein is best known as the author of Mosh, the mobile shell, a UDP-based ssh replacement optimized for mobile users featuring predictive local echo, automatic roaming, and high network resiliency.

Creative Commons License
Introduction to Copyright Law by Keith Winstein is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Course content

  • Lecture 1 - Introduction

  • Lecture 2 - LexisNexis® and 1976 Copyright Act

  • Lecture 3 - Copyright Applied to Music

  • Lecture 4 - Software Licensing

  • Assignments

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