Intellectual Property (“IP”) law and Information Policy underlies many of the most critical developments of contemporary law and society. IP has become more central to law and society as IP rights have grown increasingly paramount in our economy and international trade.
“Intellectual property” is an umbrella term that has come to refer broadly to a range of laws that normally have as their unifying feature the grant of exclusive rights over intangible assets. Such assets include inventions, artistic and literary works, brands, trade secrets and certain kinds of data. Many IP laws have as a core aim the encouragement of technological, artistic, and other types of information-related innovation.
Communications law encompasses the laws and regulations affecting the communications industry. This area of law affects both mass media (television, cable, internet, radio, and other mass communication media) and the communications media that people use to communicate with each other (telephone, mobile phone and e-mail). A significant element of communications law practice is on administrative and regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state regulatory bodies. In addition, constitutional law issues, particularly issues arising under the First Amendment arise frequently in connection with communications law matters.
WCL offers several foundation courses in Communications Law including Communications Law and Information Policy and Communications Law and Economic Regulation. These courses provide an overview of the federal regulatory structure of the communications industries and the economic policy issues that arise in connection with these regulatory structures.
Both Sports Law and Entertainment Law examine legal issues that cut across traditional areas of legal practice.
In addition to a major emphasis on IP law (particularly copyright and trademark law), Entertainment law incorporates both communications law and labor/employment issues. Sports law examines the structure of professional sports, including the interrelationship of leagues, clubs, and individual athletes and their representatives. Antitrust, labor, and contract law principles will be discussed, as will practical aspects of practicing law in the professional sports industry.