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Four Jamaicans Pass Harvard Law School CopyrightX Course

Four Jamaicans Pass Harvard Law School CopyrightX Course

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Four Jamaicans (Lydia Rose, General Manager, JACAP; Staysean Daley, Principal, Kraas Images; Jordan Chung and Gavin Blair from Equiknoxx), will receive certificates of completion from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School for completing the CopyrightX course, which took place over 12 weeks beginning in January of this year. The CopyrightX Caribbean section of Harvard Law School’s online CopyrightX course was led by local IP and Entertainment attorney Sarah Hsia of Rockstone Legal, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and Dr Bryan Khan, an IP professional and copyright scholar from Trinidad.

“We believe that the conduct of this course has strengthened knowledge about Copyright generally for active players in key creative sectors across the Caribbean,” said Ms Hsia, “and from that perspective, we consider it to be a resounding success.”

Overall, twelve students from across the Caribbean passed the challenging exam, which was the same exam given to Harvard Law School students. Of the twelve successful students, seven are professional musicians/performers, three are attorneys, one is a visual artist, and one is a creative industry professional. Four of the certificate recipients sit on the boards of Performing Rights Organizations in the region: COSCAP (Barbados), ECCO (Eastern Caribbean) and JACAP (Jamaica). Sponsorships were provided by the Musson Foundation, the Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS), and the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA).

The CopyrightX Course

The CopyrightX course explores the current law of copyright, the impact on art, entertainment, and industry, and the ongoing debates concerning reforming the law. Through a combination of recorded lectures, assigned readings, weekly seminars, live interactive webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course, examine and assess how the copyright system seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression.

The course is divided into three parts: (a) a residential course on Copyright Law, taught by Prof. William Fisher at Harvard Law School; (b) an online course divided into sections of 25 students (each section taught by a Harvard Teaching Fellow); and (c) a set of affiliated courses, most of which are based in countries other than the United States, each taught by an expert in copyright law.

“We noted a gap in the Caribbean where many practitioners and artists see the US as their most important external cultural market,” said Dr Khan, “However, the way copyright works in the Caribbean is a bit different, in terms of terminology, legal doctrines, and actual practice. The Course aims at filling this gap by taking a comparative perspective of US and Caribbean Copyright Law, focusing on both commonalities and points of divergence. In this way, we see the Course as making a much-needed contribution to both the Caribbean Creative Industries, and the Legal
Community.”

The first-ever “satellite” section of the CopyrightX course was taught by Ms Hsia in Jamaica in 2013 in collaboration with Norman Manley Law School; in 2021, 23 satellite sections spread across the globe.

Applications for the next iteration of the course (beginning January 2022) will open in October. For more information, please visit www.copyrightxcaribbean.com.

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