The ALI Copyright Project: Restatement or Revisionist?

Intellectual Property Practice Group

The American Law Institute (ALI) is a familiar and trusted institution for jurists across the country who rely on its “restatements” of disperse common law jurisprudence. More recently, the ALI embarked on a different type of project; to “restate” not common law, but the federal statutory law of the U.S. Copyright Act. The origins of the project do not attempt to conceal its intent to be normative and to take the place of unsuccessful statutory reform efforts. As a result, the project has raised objections, including from the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, that it is inappropriate to “restate” a field undergirded by statutory law and that it is an invitation to activist judicial decisions to depart from the statute in favor of whatever policies the ALI adopts. Predictably for a norm-setting process, it has been further complicated by concerns about bias and lack of transparency. This panel discussion will consider whether the ALI project is appropriate and fair.



Prof. June Besek, Lecturer in Law; Executive Directo, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts

Mr. Sy Damle, Partner, Latham & Watkins, LLP

Moderator: Mr. Steven Tepp, President & CEO, Sentinel Worldwide

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