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Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal

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The very definition and scope of CLS (critical legal studies) is itself subject to debate. Some scholars characterize CLS as scholarship that employs a particular methodology—more of a “means” than an “end.” On the other hand, some scholars contend that CLS scholarship demonstrates a collective commitment to a political end goal—an emancipation of sorts —through the identification of, and resistance to, exploitative power structures that are reinforced through law and legal institutions. After a brief golden age, CLS scholarship was infamously marginalized in legal academia and its sub-disciplines. But CLS themes now appear to be making a resurgence—at least in content, if not in name—in IP and information law scholarship. IP and information law scholarship is increasingly post-modern and interdisciplinary in nature. Themes that were originally associated with CLS are now making a regular appearance in legal scholarship about privacy, access, fair use, the public domain, and other topics related to IP and information law. The conceptualization of identity and the author as social constructs and the rejection of law and economics principles, the identification of interdeterminancy and paradox in information networks, and the renewed emphasis on collectivity as a context or scholarship about commons management are all popular themes in recent IP and information law scholarship that are reminiscent of the CLS movement. Our first panel will focus on the resurgence of CLS in IP and information law scholarship.