Copyright Catches Up

Professor Lydia Pallas Loren and Colleagues Work to Clarify Evolving Copyright Law

In 2015, the American Law Institute (ALI) appointed Henry J. Casey Professor of Law Lydia Pallas Loren to serve as one of five reporters on the Restatement of Law, Copyright. Once completed, the Restatement of Copyright will be a resource for those working in, or affected by, copyright law.

“The Restatement is a synthesis of the law as articulated in the Copyright Act and interpreted and applied by courts,” explained Loren. The approved drafts reflect recent developments in case law and precedent as it pertains to copyright law.

This is the first time copyright law has been the subject of a restatement. Prior to the Restatement of Copyright, only treatises, often written by a single individual, were the main source relied on by lawyers and judges when seeking to make sense of an extensive body of case law. Begun in 2015, the project is expected to be completed by 2025.

In May 2022, the membership of the ALI approved tentative draft No. 3 (it had previously approved tentative draft No. 2 in 2021). Combined, these drafts contain 44 separate sections that are the authoritative position of the ALI and can be cited to, and by, courts.

“Working with my coreporters, the advisors, and all of the ALI Members Consultative Group has been an incredibly rewarding part of my professional life. These are people who are copyright experts and want to help others understand this important area of law that can, at times, be confusing and even counterintuitive,” Professor Loren noted. She particularly enjoys the collaborative aspect of the team of reporters: Professor Christopher Jon Sprigman (New York University School of Law), Professor Daniel J. Gervais (Vanderbilt University Law School), Professor R. Anthony Reese (University of California, Irvine School of Law), and Professor Molly S. Van Houweling (University of California, Berkeley School of Law).