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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

William Fisher III

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Promises to Keep Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment William W. Fisher III

During the past fifteen years, changes in the technologies used to make and store audio and video recordings, combined with the communication revolution associated with the Internet, have generated an extraordinary array of new ways in which music and movies can be produced and distributed. Both the creators and the consumers of entertainment products stand to benefit enormously from the new systems.

Sadly, we have failed thus far to avail ourselves of these opportunities. Instead, much energy has been devoted to interpreting or changing legal rules in hopes of defending older business models against the threats posed by the new technologies. These efforts to plug the multiplying holes in the legal dikes are failing and the entertainment industry has fallen into crisis.

This provocative book chronicles how we got into this mess and presents three alternative proposals—each involving a combination of legal reforms and new business models—for how we could get out of it.

http://www.tfisher.org/

Brief Biography

Professor Fisher received his undergraduate degree (in American Studies) from Amherst College and his graduate degrees (J.D. and Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization) from Harvard University. Between 1982 and 1984, he served as a law clerk to Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. Since 1984, he has taught at Harvard Law School, where he is currently the Hale and Dorr Professor of Intellectual Property Law and the Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. His academic honors include a Danforth Postbaccalaureate Fellowship (1978-1982) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California (1992-1993).