Each of the online sections of CopyrightX has 25 students and is taught by a Harvard Teaching Fellow. In 2014, there were 21 sections; in 2015 there will be 17.  During the twelve weeks of the course, students in the sections watch the lecture videos, read from the section syllabus, and participate in special events. Each section meets weekly for a 90-minute seminar held online via Adobe Connect. Section students also have the opportunity to engage with the CopyrightX Community in the discussion forum.

In order to pass the course, a student must attend his or her discussion section for at least 10 out of the 12 weeks and pass a written exam.


Participation in the online component of CopyrightX is limited to approximately 500 people. Anyone 13 years or older who has a reasonable command of the English language is welcome to apply for admission. No legal background is necessary.  Applications for admission can be obtained here.

When evaluating applications, we look for manifestations of intelligence and commitment to completing the course. However, we do not privilege educational attainment or legal knowledge. Instead, we strive to select a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions: country of residence; age; gender; occupation; and interests.

The deadline for applications for admission to the 2015 version of CopyrightX has now passed.  If you wish to be notified when applications are being accepted for the 2016 version of the course, please join the CopyrightX mailing list.  If you have questions about the Application and Admission process, please contact copyrightx at cyber dot law dot harvard dot edu.



A computer with a microphone and an Internet connection download speed of at least 0.044 Mbps are required for participation in the seminars. Webcams are not required, but may be helpful.

If you are a student in the 2015 online sections, you can access your Adobe Connect seminar room by clicking on the link in the list below that bears your timeslot and your teaching fellow’s name. The timeslots are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Each option includes two times, because the time of the section will change when the U.S. switches to Daylight Savings Time on March 8, 2015. To convert times in UTC to your local time zone, please visit…. For assistance with the seminar software, please consult the 2015 Seminars User Guide.

In order to fulfill the attendance requirement, students must attend their discussion sections for at least 10 out of the 12 weeks. Students are not permitted to attend discussion sections other than the one to which they are assigned.


Persons enrolled in any of the components of CopyrightX can gain access to the forums at For assistance with the forums software, please consult the 2015 Forums User Guide.


The examination offered to the students in the online sections is administered in a take-home format.  It is made available (online, of course) on approximately May 1 each year.  The tentative 2015 exam date is April 30. Students have 96 hours to complete it.  (Most students are able to complete the exam in 8 hours or fewer.  However, there is no limitation on the amount of time that students may devote to the exam.)

Students’ responses to the examination are graded by the Harvard teaching fellows.  No teaching fellow grades exams from students in her own section.  When evaluating answers, the teaching fellows use the following scale:

  • 5 = excellent  (For examples of “excellent” responses, see the model answers for the 2013 and 2014 Harvard exams, available through the links below.)
  • 4 = insightful
  • 3 = good
  • 2 = satisfactory
  • 1 = unsatisfactory

To pass the exam, a student must receive an average of 2 on his or her responses to the questions.  If the teaching fellow who grades the exam assigns a average grade between 1.8 and 2.2, inclusive, Professor Fisher reviews the exam.  This review by Professor Fisher is final, and no other grades can be reviewed or appealed. Students who pass the exam and satisfy the course-attendance requirement are issued certificates of completion.

The exam is intended to be rigorous but fair. In 2013, the exam-passage rate was approximately 80%; in 2014, the rate was approximately 85%. Those rates did not vary significantly by country of residence, age, or occupation.  In particular, non-lawyers passed the exams at roughly the same rate as lawyers.

Here is a copy of the 2013 online-section exam. Two excellent answers to the first question in the 2013 exam, written by Harvard Law School students, are available here: first sample answer and second sample answer.

The components of the 2014 online-section exam are available through the links below:

Three excellent answers to the first question in the 2014 exam, written by Harvard Law School students, are available here: first sample answer, second sample answer, and third sample answer.

Here is the distribution of the scores on the 2014 exam for the online sections.  (To download the image file, right-click and select Save As.)

Academic honesty

In all work for CopyrightX, including the final examination and additional examinations and quizzes, students must comply with CopyrightX’s academic honesty policy.

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