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College of Science presents discussion about file sharing, constitutional rights, and the law


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 22, 2006 – Nationally and internationally known legal scholar and dean of the University of Richmond Law School, Rodney Smolla, will present a free public lecture on “File Sharing, Downloading and Fair Use” on Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in 1100 Torgersen Hall on the Virginia Tech campus.

The event will examine rights and responsibilities in this age of cyberspace, MP3 players, iPods and other intellectual property innovations. Smolla will include time for questions from the audience. Refreshments will be served following the event.

This fall marks the beginning of a new joint degree program between Virginia Tech’s College of Science and the University of Richmond Law School that enables students to receive a bachelor of science degree and a law degree with an emphasis in intellectual property law in as little as six years’ time, thus eliminating up to two years from their total time in school. This semester nineteen students are taking a special pre-law course taught by the University of Richmond at Virginia Tech.

Smolla, a widely recognized First Amendment scholar, is the winner of numerous teaching and writing awards, a highly sought-after lecturer on constitutional and mass media issues, and a frequent counsel before the country's highest courts. In addition to his administrative duties at the University of Richmond, Smolla has taught a wide range of law school subjects, including constitutional law, intellectual property law, civil rights law, first amendment law, mass communications law, and labor law. In his role as dean, he teaches primarily constitutional law, including a special course on the Constitution and American Culture.

Smolla’s presentation is sponsored by the College of Science, University Pre-Law Advising, and Phi Alpha Delta.