James Boyle (born 1959) is a Scottish legal academic who is the William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina.
He was one of the founding board members of Creative Commons, and formerly held the position of Chairman. He also co-founded Science Commons, which aims to expand the Creative Commons mission into the realm of scientific and technical data, and ccLearn, a division of Creative Commons aimed at facilitating access to open education resources.
Boyle graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1980 and subsequently studied at Harvard Law School. He joined Duke University School of Law in July 2000. He had previously taught at American University, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He is the author of Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and Construction of the Information Society as well as a novel published under a Creative Commons license, The Shakespeare Chronicles.
In his latest work on intellectual property, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (2008), Boyle argues that the current system of copyright protections fails to fulfill the original intent of copyright: rewarding and encouraging creativity. It was also published under a non-commercial CC BY-NC-SA Creative Commons license.
Boyle also contributes a column to the Financial Times New Technology Policy Forum.Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and Construction of the Information Society, Harvard University Press 1997, ISBN 978-0-674-80522-4
The Public Domain (ed), Winter/Spring 2003 edition of Law and Contemporary Problems (vol 66, ##1–2), Duke University School of Law
Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain , Duke University Center for the Study of the Public Domain 2006, ISBN 978-0-9741553-1-9
Cultural Environmentalism @ 10 (ed, with Lawrence Lessig), Spring 2007 edition of Law and Contemporary Problems (vol 70, #2), Duke University School of Law
Cultural Environmentalism and Beyond
The Shakespeare Chronicles: A Novel, Lulu Press 2006, ISBN 978-1-4303-0768-6
Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind, Yale University Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-300-13740-8