Jack Lerner

Faculty Fellow


Jack Lerner is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the USC Gould School of Law and Director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic.

Professor Lerner received a B.A., with distinction, in English from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He clerked for Judge Fred I. Parker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge G. Thomas Van Bebber in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. He practiced IP law with the Palo Alto, Calif., firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. and in 2004 was a research fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Before joining USC, Professor Lerner was Clinic Fellow at the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Among Professor Lerner's publications are "Intellectual Property and Development at WIPO and WHO," (American Journal of Law and Medicine 2008), "Taking the 'Long View' on the Fourth Amendment: Stored Records and the Sanctity of Home" (with Mulligan) (Stanford Technology Law Review 2007), "Legal Issues Facing Election Officials in an Electronic Voting World" (with Burstein, Dang and Hancock) (2007), and amicus curiae briefs in Hepting v. AT&T, Inc.; United States v. Martingnon; and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.

Professor Lerner leads law students in the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic as they counsel and represent policymakers, artists, innovators, nonprofit organizations, and others on a range of IP and technology issues. Among other things, under Professor Lerner's supervision Clinical Interns have sought an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on behalf of a wide coalition of documentary filmmakers that, if granted, will help filmmakers exercise their fair use rights, and worked with policymakers in the developing world to conduct a major survey of copyright limitations and exceptions among Pacific Rim economies.

Prior to joining the USC Law faculty, Professor Lerner was a visiting clinical assistant professor from 2007-09.

Jack Lerner In the News

Faculty Fellow Jack Lerner and his team at the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic has assisted in the creation of an exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which now allows documentary filmmakers have access to archived footage for "fair use" in their productions. "This is a huge win for documentarians," said Lerner. "Instead of using DVDs, filmmakers were forced to use costly, time-consuming, and technically inadequate workarounds, like taking the footage they sought for their films from VHS tapes. It became increasingly clear that these were not viable alternatives, as such material is either unavailable, too degraded, or technically unsuitable for documentary filmmaking." To read more about this landmark decision, visit the USC Gould website or visit documentary.org.

"...[M]ore litigation and legal fees for both sides" is what Faculty Fellow Jack Lerner told Variety concerning the possibility of favorite comic book adaptations coming to the big screen. The entire article can be viewed here.

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