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Kyle K. Courtney

Part-Time Lecturer

Contact

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: Kyle Courtney, 301 ME
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Education

  • JD in Intellectual Property Law, Suffolk University
  • MS in Library and Information Science, Simmons College
  • BA in History, University of Mary Washington

Biography

Kyle K. Courtney is an attorney, currently working as the copyright advisor for Harvard University. At Harvard, he works closely with the community to establish a culture of shared understanding of risk and legal issues among staff, faculty, and students. His work at Harvard also includes a role as the copyright and information policy advisor for HarvardX/edX online classes. He also currently teaches a section at Harvard Law School, training first year law students on the fundamentals of legal research in the Legal Research and Writing program. Courtney maintains a dual appointment at Northeastern University as a Faculty Scholar for the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at the School of Law and teaching “Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights” for the interdisciplinary Information Assurance program at the College of Computer and Information Science. He holds a JD with distinction in High Technology/Intellectual Property Law from Suffolk University School of Law and an MSLIS from Simmons College. He is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on the topic of copyright, technology, and the law. Courtney’s writing has appeared in Politico, Slate, Library Journal, and other publications. His most recent book is titled “MOOC’s and Libraries in the 21st Century,” published by Rowman & Littlefield, Ltd. He can be followed on Twitter @KyleKCourtney and his Cyberlaw class website is https://cyberlaw101.wordpress.com/.

Field of research/teaching

Information Assurance, Cyberlaw, Internet Law, Intellectual Property

What are the specifics of your educational background?

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Mary Washington; my Juris Doctorate with distinction in Intellectual Property Law from Suffolk University School of Law; and my Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

What is your research focus? Is your current research path what you always had in mind or has it evolved somewhat?

My research focus has evolved over time, as the internet and technology revolution has also evolved. My courses in law school were just starting to touch on the advances in computing, and how that would ultimately affect the world. My post-graduate research had to change as the internet began to dominate more and more of our everyday lives. I find myself working more with students focusing on security and privacy, not just for the government, but for private industry and consumers. I would never have believed, when I graduated, that the law would be so outpaced by the current technology. This evolution has made legal analysis and the understanding of the law process an even greater skill set for our current Information Assurance graduates, who will have to venture into the world and develop relevant laws and policies, while also understanding the technology behind that shapes the policies.

What courses/subjects do you teach?

I have taught “Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights” for Northeastern’s Information Assurance program for over a decade, teaching both online and on-ground versions of the course. During that time, I also taught “Foreign, Comparative, and International Law” and “Massachusetts Legal Research” at Northeastern University’s School of Law.

What do you enjoy most about what you teach? Is there anything notable or unique about the kind of students that you teach?

Information Assurance is an interdisciplinary field, and my classroom typically has a great representation across various fields: law, computer science, criminal justice, information security, and business. I find the students’ various perspectives and backgrounds to be one of the best aspects of the class. Students not only learn from the curriculum I assign, but also from each other, especially on matters of technology and law. And, by the end of the semester, students have learned to communicate between these fields. The most rewarding aspect for me is that by the end of the course the students have become critical legal thinkers, and can readily spot legal issues, analyze risk, and communicate policy through the lens of the law. In many ways, they learn successful communication through this legal lens, which will be critical for their professional lives. Dozens of graduates from the program have returned to me and stated clearly that communicating with lawyers is a huge part of their professional lives, and that my class directly benefited that aspect of their job. I am delighted to welcome graduates from our program to guest lecture in my class each year to talk about their day-to-day work and the skills that they honed in the Cyberlaw class.

Where did you study? Any reason in particular behind your choice?

I went to law school specifically to focus on intellectual property law and the legal impact of the “new” internet technology. Fortunately, my program had an advanced concentration option which allowed me to complete a Juris Doctorate thesis, not a typical path in the normal law curriculum. At the time, it was called the High Technology Law concentration. This concentration let me take extra classes such as Internet Law, Advanced Copyright and Trademark, e-Healthcare Law, and other courses taught by practitioners in the field, in addition to my thesis work. The classes I took were the critical foundation not only for my career, but also for my decade of teaching Cyberlaw in the Information Assurance program.