Ben Depoorter

Max Radin Distinguished Professor

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Professor Depoorter is the Max Radin Distinguished Professor University of California, Hastings College of the Law, EMLE coordinator at CASLE Ghent University, and Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet at Society. He is a frequent visiting professor at Berkeley Law, teaching in the LL.M.’s Professional Track.

Copyright law is one of his major areas of expertise, where Depoorter has investigated a variety of questions relating to enforcement of intellectual property law in the digital era, including whether and how fees-shifting can be used to align incentives between authors in way that promote creativity, how punitive approaches to copyright law adversely impact copyright social norms, and how automated enforcement measures create false positives.

Litigation theory is Depoorter’s other major area of expertise, where he has investigated the strategic pursuit of losing litigation by interest groups that seek to mobilize public and political support, examined the feedback effect of tort settlements on legal precedent, and described the shaping effect of legal uncertainty and court delay.

Recent publications include “When the Remedy is the Wrong: Statutory Damages in the Digital Age”, UCLA Law Review (2019); “The Upside of Losing”, “Fair Trespass”, Columbia Law Review (2014, 2011); “Using Fee Shifting to Promote Fair Use and Fair Licensing”, California Law Review (2015); “Copyright Backlash”, Southern California Law Review (2011); “Law in the Shadow Bargaining: The Feedback Effect of Civil Settlements”, Cornell Law Review (2010); “Technology & Uncertainty: The Shaping Effect on Copyright Law”, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review (2010), and “Liquidated Damages and Moral Hazard: An Experiment”, JITE (2016). His interdisciplinary work on anticommons property is widely cited in American law reviews and international peer-reviewed journals and was featured in a 2010 issue of the New Yorker.

Professor Ben Depoorter completed his studies at Yale Law School (2003, 2009) on a full scholarship from the BAEF. As an Oscar Cox and Olin Fellow at Yale, Depoorter served as an editor of the Yale J. Reg. He was a Santander Research Fellow at U.C. Berkeley and a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship.


Before becoming a law professor, Depoorter toured with his indierock band and released several LP records.


  • Yale Law School
    J.S.D., Law

  • Yale Law School
    LL.M., Law

  • Ghent University
    Ph.D., Economics

  • University of Hamburg
    M.A., Law and Economics

  • Ghent University, School of Law
    J.D., Economic Law


  • Appointed Distinguished Professor

  • Graduation Speaker
    U.C. Berkeley Law, P.LL.M Program
    2016, 2017

  • Sunderland Chair
    Awarded by University of California, Hastings College of the Law

  • Inaugural Roger Traynor Research Chair
    Awarded by UC Law SF College of the Law.

  • Roger Traynor Scholarship Prize
    Awarded by UC Law SF College of the Law.

  • Oscar Cox Scholarship
    Awarded by Yale Law School.

  • National Science Grant
    Awarded by Belgium's Federal Institute for Science.

  • Olin Fellow in Law, Economics & Public Policy
    Awarded by Yale Law School

  • Belgian American Educational Foundation
    Study grant for research in the United States


  • Advanced Copyright Seminar
  • IP Concentration Seminar
  • Property
  • Copyright