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James Boyle

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Law
School of Law
Duke Law School Room 3026, Duke Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708-0360
Duke Law School 210 Science Dr, Duke Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708


James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School. He joined the faculty in July 2000. He has also taught at American University, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the author of The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind, and Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and Construction of the Information Society. He was also the the editor of Critical Legal Studies (Dartmouth/NYU Press), Collected Papers on the Public Domain, and the co-editor of Cultural Environmentalism @ 10 (with Larry Lessig). He has also published two graphic novels: Bound By Law, on fair use and the permissions culture in intellectual property, and Theft: A History of Music, a 2000 year long history of musical borrowing from Plato to rap, and an open access casebook on Intellectual Property. (all with Jennifer Jenkins).  His essays include The Second Enclosure Movement, a study of the economic rhetoric of price discrimination in digital commerce, and a Manifesto on WIPO. His shorter pieces include Missing the Point on Microsoft, a speech to the Federalist Society called Conservatives and Intellectual Property, and numerous newspaper articles on law, technology and culture. His book reviews on social theory and the environment, the naturalistic fallacy in environmentalism, and on competing approaches to copyright have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement. His newspaper articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Times, Newsweek and the Economist. Professor Boyle teaches Intellectual Property, Law and Literature, Jurisprudence and Torts.  He was one of the founding board members of Creative Commons, which works to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarship, and cultural materials by developing innovative, machine-readable licenses that individuals and institutions can attach to their work. He has been awarded a World Technology Network Award for Law and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award for his work on the public domain and the second enclosure movement that threatens it, while his books have won the Donald McGannon Award for communications policy and the American Society for Information Science and Technology Award for book of the year.  He is most proud, however, of the award he received in 2006: the Duke Bar Association Distinguished Teaching Award.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Law · 2002 - Present School of Law
Professor of Law · 2000 - Present School of Law

Education, Training & Certifications

Harvard University · 1986 S.J.D.
Harvard University · 1981 LL.M.