Professor Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Shyamkrishna Balganesh

  • Sol Goldman Professor of Law

J.D., Yale Law School, 2007
M.Phil., University of Oxford, 2005
B.C.L., University of Oxford, 2004
B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), National Law School of India University, 2003

Areas of Specialty

Common Law
Copyright Law
Private Law Theory

Shyam Balganesh writes and teaches in the areas of copyright law, intellectual property, and legal theory. He has written extensively on understanding how intellectual property and innovation policy can benefit from the use of ideas, concepts, and structures from different areas of the common law, especially private law. His recent work explores the interaction between copyright law and key institutional features of the American legal system. He is also working on a series of articles advancing an account of “legal internalism” that explains the shape and trajectory of legal thinking. Balganesh’s work has appeared in leading law journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. He is also a co-author of sections of the leading copyright law treatise Nimmer on Copyright

Before joining the Columbia Law School faculty in 2021, Balganesh was a professor of law and co-director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Prior to that, he was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an articles and essays editor of the Yale Law Journal and a student fellow at the Information Society Project. Prior to that, he spent two years as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, where he received a B.C.L. and M.Phil.

In 2017, he was elected a member of the American Law Institute, and since 2015 he has served as an adviser to the Restatement of the Law, Copyright. Balganesh also has been recognized for his teaching: In 2017, he received the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 2015, the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course, both at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 


  • Going “Beyond” Mere Transformation: Warhol and Reconciliation of the Derivative Work Right and Fair Use, 57 Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts (forthcoming 2024) (with Peter S. Menell).
  • The Judicial Method in Copyright, 72 Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. (forthcoming 2024) (53rd Donald Brace Memorial Lecture).
  • Misreading Campbell: Lessons for Warhol, 72 Duke Law Journal Online 113 (2023) (with Peter S. Menell).
  • Learned Hand’s Copyright Law, 70 Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. 401 (2023)
  • Relying on Restatements, 122 Columbia Law Review 2119 (2022)
  • Proving Copying, 64 William & Mary Law Review 299 (2022) (with Peter S. Menell).
  • Cardozo and Uncertainty in the Common Law, 34 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 113 (2023) (Symposium)
  • Of Autonomy, Sacred Rights, and Personal Marks, 135 Harvard Law Review Forum 1 (2022).
  • The Institutionalist Turn in Copyright, 2021 Supreme Court Review 417 (2022).
  • Authoring the Law, 69 Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. 353 (2022).
  • The Use of Technical Experts in Software Copyright Cases: Rectifying the Ninth Circuit’s “Nutty” Rule, 35 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 3 (2021) (with Peter S. Menell) (Symposium).
  • The Genius of Common Law Intellectual Property, 50 Journal of Legal Studies S91 (2021).
  • Restatements of Statutory Law: The Curious Case of the Restatement of Copyright, 44 Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts 285 (2021) (with Peter S. Menell).
  • Legal Internalism in Modern Histories of Copyright, 134 Harvard Law Review 1066 (2021) (with Taisu Zhang) (Review Essay)
  • Long Live the Common Law of Copyright!: Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. and the Debate over Judicial Role in Copyright, 121 Columbia Law Review Forum 1 (2021).
  • Copyright as Legal Process: The Transformation of American Copyright Law, 168 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1101 (2020).
  • Privative Copyright, 73 Vanderbilt Law Review 1 (2020).
  • Private Law Statutory Interpretation, 92 Southern California Law Review 949 (2019) (Symposium).
  • Copyright as Market Prospect, 166 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 443 (2018).
  • Causing Copyright, 117 Columbia Law Review 1 (2017).
  • The Immanent Rationality of Copyright Law, 115 Michigan Law Review 1047 (2017) (Review Essay).
  • The Folklore and Symbolism of Authorship in American Copyright Law, 54 Houston Law  Review 403 (2016) (Symposium).
  • The Questionable Origins of the Copyright Infringement Analysis, 68 Stanford Law Review 791 (2016).
  • Copyright and Good Faith Purchasers, 104 California Law Review 269 (2016).
  • Debunking the Myth of the Copyright Troll Apocalypse, 100 Iowa Law Review Online 43 (2016) (with Jonah B. Gelbach).
  • Equity’s Unstated Domain: The Role of Equity in Shaping Copyright Law, 163 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1859 (2015) (with Gideon Parchomovsky) (Symposium).
  • Codifying the Common Law of Property in India: Crystallization and Standardization as Strategies of Constraint, 63 American Journal of Comparative Law 33 (2015).
  • Structure and Value in the Common Law, 163 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1241 (2015) (with Gideon Parchomovsky).
  • Foreword: The Constraint of Legal Doctrine, 163 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1843 (2015).
  • Unplanned Coauthorship, 100 Virginia Law Review 1683 (2014).
  • Judging Similarity, 100 Iowa Law Review 267 (2014) (with Irina Manta and Tess Wilkinson-Ryan).
  • Copyright Infringement Markets, 113 Columbia Law Review 2277 (2013). Gandhi and Copyright Pragmatism, 101 California Law Review 1705 (2013).
  • Stewarding the Common Law of Copyright, 60 Journal of the Copyright Society of U.S.A. 103 (2013).
  • The Uneasy Case Against Copyright Trolls, 86 Southern California Law Review 723 (2013).
  • The Normativity of Copying in Copyright Law, 62 Duke Law Journal 203 (2012).
  • The Obligatory Structure of Copyright Law: Unbundling the Wrong of Copying, 125 Harvard Law Review 1664 (2012) (Symposium).
  • Quasi-Property: Like, But Not Quite Property, 160 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1889 (2012) (Symposium).
  • The Uncertain Future of the Hot News Misappropriation After Barclay’s Capital, Inc. v., 112 Columbia Law Review Sidebar 134 (2012).
  • “Hot News”: The Enduring Myth of Property in News, 111 Columbia Law Review 419 (2011).
  • The Pragmatic Incrementalism of Common Law Intellectual Property, 63 Vanderbilt Law Review 1543 (2010).
  • Tiered Originality and the Dualism of Copyright Incentives, 95 Virginia Law Review In Brief 67 (2009).
  • Foreseeability and Copyright Incentives, 122 Harvard Law Review 1569 (2009).
  • Debunking Blackstonian Copyright, 118 Yale Law Journal 1126 (2009) (Review Essay).
  • Demystifying the Right to Exclude: Of Property, Inviolability, and Automatic Injunctions, 31 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 593 (2008).
  • Rethinking Copyright: Property Through the Lenses of Unjust Enrichment and Unfair Competition, 156 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Pennumbra 345 (2008).
  • The Social Costs of Property Rights in Broadcast (and Cable) Signals, 22 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1303 (2008).
  • Common Law Property Metaphors on the Internet: The Real Problem with the Doctrine of Cybertrespass, 12 Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review 265 (2006).
  • Property along the Tort Spectrum: Trespass to Chattels and the Anglo-American Doctrinal Divergence, 35 Common Law World Review 135 (2006).
  • Copyright and Free Expression: The Convergence of Conflicting Normative Frameworks, 4 Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property 45 (2004).

Honors and Awards

Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School


A. Leo Levin Award for Teaching Excellence in an Introductory Course, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School


Professional Service

  • Elected Member, The American Law Institute, 2017–present
  • Adviser, Restatement of the Law, Copyright, 2015–present
  • Referee: The Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Legal Analysis, Law and Philosophy, Law & Social Inquiry, Asian Journal of Legal Studies, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Yale University Press, Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Stanford Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review

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