CDT Fellow

Fellow Biography

Pamela Samuelson

Pamela Samuelson

Pamela Samuelson is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyberlaw and information policy. Since 1996, she has held a joint appointment with Boalt Hall and UC Berkeley’s School of Information. In addition, Samuelson is director of the internationally-renowned Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. She serves on the board of directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (since 2000) and on advisory boards for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Public Knowledge, and the Berkeley Center for New Media.

Samuelson began her career as an associate with Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s New York. She began her career as a legal academic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, from which she visited at Columbia Law School, Cornell Law School and Emory Law School. While on the Berkeley faculty, she has been a distinguished visiting professor at University of Toronto Law School as well as a visiting professor at University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School. She was named an honorary professor at the University of Amsterdam in 2002.Samuelson has written and published extensively in the areas of copyright, software protection and cyberlaw. Her recent publications include “Why Copyright Excludes Systems and Processes From the Scope of Its Protection,” in the Texas Law Review (2007), “Principles for Resolving Conflicts Between Trade Secrets and the First Amendment,” published in Hastings Law Journal (2007), “Questioning Copyright in Standards” in the Boston College Law Review (2007), “Enriching Discourse on Public Domains” in the Duke Law Journal (2006); and”The Generativity of Sony v. Universal: The Intellectual Legacy of Justice Stevens” in the Fordham Law Review (2006).

Other notable publications include: Intellectual Property Arbitrage: How Foreign Rules Can Affect Domestic Protections, 71 Chi. L. Rev. 223 (2004); The Law and Economics of Reverse Engineering, 111 Yale L. J. 1575 (2002); Privacy as Intellectual Property?, 52 Stan. L. Rev. 1125 (2000); The U.S. Digital Agenda at WIPO, 37 Va. J. Int’l L. 369 (1997); Intellectual Property Rights in Data?, 50 Vand. L. Rev. 51 (1997) (co-authored with J.H. Reichman); A Manifesto Concerning the Legal Protection of Computer Programs, 94 Colum. L. Rev. 2308(1994) (co-authored with Randall Davis, Mitchell Kapor, and J.H. Reichman); Benson Revisited: The Case Against Patent Protection for Algorithms and Other Computer Program-Related Inventions, 39 Emory L. J. 1025 (1990); and CONTU Revisited: The Case Against Copyright Protection for Computer Programs in Machine-Readable Form, 1984 Duke L. J. 663 (1984).

Since 1990, Samuelson has been a contributing editor of Communications of the ACM, a computing professionals journal respected for its coverage of existing and emerging technologies. From 1997 through 2002, Samuelson was a fellow of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. From 2001 to 2006, she held a UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Professorship for distinguished research, teaching and service for her contributions to both Boalt Hall and the School of Information. Samuelson is the first Boalt faculty member to hold the Richard M. Sherman ’74 Distinguished Professorship which was given to her in 2006. She is also a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery. The Anita Borg Institute honored Samuelson with its Women of Vision Award for Social Impact in 2005.


B.A., University of Hawaii (1971)

M.A., University of Hawaii (1972)

J.D., Yale University (1976)