January 21, 2022

Research Article: “An Empirical Study of Law Journal Copyright Practices”

The following article appears in the The John Marshall Review Of Intellectual Property Law.


An Empirical Study of Law Journal Copyright Practices


Brian Frye
Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky School of Law

Christopher Ryan
Ph.D. Candidate, Vanderbilt University

Franklin Runge
Faculty Services Librarian, University of Kentucky College of Law


The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law
207 (2017)
via John Marshall Inst. Repository


This article presents an empirical study of the copyright practices of American law journals in relation to copyright ownership and fair use, based on a 24-question survey.

It concludes that many American law journals have adopted copyright policies that are inconsistent with the expectations of legal scholars and the scope of copyright protection. Specifically, many law journals have adopted copyright policies that effectively preclude open-access publishing, and unnecessarily limit the fair use of copyrighted works.

In addition, it appears that some law journals may not understand their own copyright policies. This article proposes the creation of a Code of Copyright Best Practices for Law Journals in order to encourage both open-access publishing and fair use.

Direct to Full Text Article (40 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.