William W. Fisher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William W. Fisher
Fisher in 2016
Alma materAmherst College
Harvard University
Scientific career
FieldsIntellectual property law
Legal history
InstitutionsHarvard Law School

William "Terry" W. Fisher III is the WilmerHale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard Law School and faculty director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His primary research and teaching areas are intellectual property law and legal history.[1][2]

In his book Promises to Keep: Technology, Law and the Future of Entertainment (Stanford University Press 2004), Fisher proposes replacing much of copyright and digital rights management with a government-administered reward system.[3] Under such a scheme, movies and songs would be legal to download. Authors and artists would receive compensation from the government based on how often their works were read, watched, or listened to. The system would be funded by taxes.

Fisher is one of the founders of Noank Media, a private enterprise similar in many ways to the proposal of Promises to Keep. Noank licenses and distributes digital content by collecting blanket-license revenues from internet services providers and distributing revenues to authors and artists based on the size of their audience.[4]

Fisher was among the lawyers, along with his colleague John Palfrey and the law firm of Jones Day, who represented Shepard Fairey, pro bono, in his lawsuit against the Associated Press related to the iconic Hope poster.[5] In 2011, he represented Yoga for the People in a copyright dispute.[6]

In 1976, Fisher graduated with a B.A. from Amherst College.[7] He received a law degree and a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University. In 1982, he was a law clerk to Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During the 1983-1984 Term, he served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.[8]

Fisher teaches an online course on copyright law, based on the same course that he teaches at Harvard Law School.[9] The online course, HLS1x (also referred to as CopyrightX), was offered during Spring 2013 on the EdX platform.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Stephen (May 18, 2010). "Copyright: time to change the laws?". BBC. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  2. ^ DeBartolo, David M (4 August 2000). "Website, University Exchange Lawsuits". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  3. ^ Salam, Reihan (April 25, 2008). "The Music Industry's Extortion Scheme". Slate.com. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  4. ^ Noank Media web site Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  5. ^ "Judge Rules Shepard Fairey Can Switch Lawyers in AP Case," Los Angeles Times, November 10, 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  6. ^ Dillon, Nancy (December 3, 2011). "Traditional Hot Yoga instructor Greg Gumucio says he'll fight copyright lawsuit by yoga king Bikram Choudhury". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "40th Alumni Reunion Panel: Law and Politics". Amherst College. May 28, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  8. ^ WIPO
  9. ^ Kantor, Ira (January 27, 2013). "Study at Harvard law? Just go online". Boston Herald. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  10. ^ Course description

External links[edit]