FY Chang Annual Lecture 2015

2015: Peking University Law School: Professor William Fisher


William Fisher is the Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard Law School, specializing in intellectual property law, as well as legal history. 

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. 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).

Professor Fisher has published numerous books and articles. His most recent book is The Canon of American Legal Thought, co-authored by David Kennedy, published by the Princeton University Press in 2006. His articles have appeared in numerous journals and compliations, including Neuron, Harvard Journal on Law & Technology, The Cambridge History of Law in America, UCLA Law Review, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and Harvard Law Review. He has also written for online publications, including The Economist and the Electronic Information for Libraries, among others. 

Professor Fisher has also performed extensive consulting and litigation work, most recently serving as an advisor to Yahoo! on their copyright strategy. He has served as an advisor, consultant, and counsel on various copyright and intellectual property issues to companies including Weil Gotschal, Intel, Yoga to the People, Shepard Fairey, and Gotuit Media. From 1997-2001, Professor Fisher served as an advisor to the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica concerning the reform of property and intellectual-property systems in those countries. He also advised the United Kingdom Department for International Development on the impact of "terminator-gene" technology on developing countries. 

Fisher also has experience in the policy realm, providing testimony before the United States House of Representatives and serving as an expert witness at the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel. Professor Fisher received his undergraduate degree in American Studies at Amherst College and his graduate degrees (J.D. and Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization) from Harvard University. 

Keynote Lecture

"Intellectual Property and the Future of Entertainment" 


Professor Fisher discussed the enforcement of intellectual property law and the future of digital entertainment. Fisher is one of the most prominent experts of intellectual property law and teaches a popular on-line course on the subject. His popularity and his lecture, which examined how the media industry has adapted to the changing digital media landscape, attracted an overflowing crowd. Many questions were raised on the relative efficacy of government laws in different countries to prevent copyright infringement.