Prof. Evans to present WIP at 10th Annual Lutie Lytle Conference

Professor Evans will present her latest work-in-progress, Safer Harbor from Statutory Damages for Mea Culpa Infringers: Remixing the DOC White Paper, at the 2016 Tenth Annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop.

The paper, slated for fall placement,  titled “Safer Harbor” from Statutory Damages for Mea Culpa Infringers: Remixing the DOC White Paper, is a follow up to her article, Safe Harbor for Innocent Infringers in the 21st Century. The former article argued that under certain circumstances, “innocent” users should be protected from liability in the same way that Internet Service Providers are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provisions. In Safer Harbor, Professor Evans approaches the same topic from the damages-instead of the liability-phase.

In Safer Harbor, Professor Evans offers a legislative fix to the statutory damages section that would inject greater balance, fairness and uniformity into the damages assessment.

The Department of Commerce‘s Internet Policy Task Force recently released its much-anticipated report on statutory damages, remixes, and the first sale doctrine. The report, titled White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory DamagesCopyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (The IPTF Report), recommended numerous important and long overdue changes to the Copyright Act.

In light the IPTF Report, Professor Evans analyzes and incorporates the Report’s findings and recommendations against the backdrop of her own recommended fixes to copyright law.

About the Lutie Lytle Conference

The Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop (the “Lytle Workshop”) is an annual gathering of current and aspiring black women law faculty. While the primary focus is on legal scholarship, this event is important for networking, bonding, and getting refreshed. Read more about the PDF iconHistory of the Program. Since the Workshop began, its participants have published more than 29 books, 44 book chapters, and 500 articles (PDF iconbibliography of works authored by workshop attendees as of 2016).

The 2016 gathering, which will be the historic and commemorative 10thAnnual Workshop, will be hosted by the University of Iowa College of Law on July 7-10, 2016, in Iowa City. A writing retreat will take place before and after the main Workshop on July 6-7 and 10-12, 2016. [More information …]


EVENT: Prof. Evans presents at the 2012 Lutie Lytle Writer’s Conference

I am excited to present my current work-in-progress, The Innocent Infringer Defense in the Age of Electronic Files and Fences, at the 2012 Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, MA (June 28-July 1).

Now in its sixth year, The Lutie A. Lytle conference is an annual workshop for current black women law faculty and those black women who are considering law teaching. It is named in honor of the life and work of Lutie A. Lytle, the first black woman to teach in an American law school.

This work-in-progress highlights the innocent infringer problem in the electronic goods context in greater detail. I trace the historical roots of the innocent infringer defense and policy considerations in Anglo-American copyright law. Next, I explore the history and role of statutory damages in copyright jurisprudence and the propriety of such an approach in general. Additionally, I analyze whether copyright should remain a strict liability offense in the digital age.

Finally, I explore ways the existing law can be changed to provide optimal or at least improved legislative and judicial relief to innocent infringers. One idea is to offer innocent infringers in the digital context “safe harbor” provisions similar to those offered to online service providers by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for secondary liable. In the final analysis, I argue that any truly effective change would encourage the benefits to society that justify a copyright monopoly in the first place and better safeguard the innocent consumer in the digital age.