Eva E. Subotnik

Associate Dean for Faculty ScholarshipProfessor of LawFaculty Director, St. John’s Intellectual Property Law Center (IPLC)
J.D. Columbia Law SchoolB.A. Columbia University

Eva E. Subotnik is a Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship who joined the St. John’s faculty in 2011. She teaches Copyright Law, the Introduction to IP Survey, and Trusts & Estates.

Broadly speaking, Professor Subotnik’s scholarship and research interests focus on issues of artistic intent that arise in the realm of copyright law and policy. She also focuses on particular intellectual property issues relating to the medium of photography. Professor Subotnik has written about the role of creator and user narratives in the context of originality and fair use determinations and about the intersection of authorship and testamentary intent. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals, including the Notre Dame Law Review, Washington Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Lewis & Clark Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, and Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts.

Prior to her appointment at St. John’s, Professor Subotnik was an Intellectual Property Fellow at the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School. She practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, where she was an associate in both the Corporate and Litigation departments.

Professor Subotnik received her B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University in 1997 and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2003. While at Columbia, she was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. Following graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Honorable Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York.

What the Warhol Court Got Wrong: Use as an Artist Reference and the Derivative Work Doctrine, 47 COLUM. J.L. & ARTS (forthcoming 2024) (with Jessica Silbey).

Copyright's Capacity Gap, 57 UC Davis L. Rev. 899 (2023) (with Andrew Gilden). 

Dead-Hand Guidance: A Preferable Testamentary Approach for Artists, in Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market: The Afterlife of Art (Sharon Hecker & Peter J. Karol eds., Routledge, 2022).

The Fine Art of Rummaging: Successors and the Life Cycle of Copyright, in the Research Handbook on Art and Law (Jani McCutcheon & Fiona McGaughey eds., Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2020).

Existential Copyright and Professional Photography, 95 Notre Dame L. Rev. 263 (2019) (with Jessica Silbey and Peter DiCola).

Artistic Control After Death, 92 Wash. L. Rev. 253 (2017).

The Author Was Not an Author: The Copyright Interests of Photographic Subjects from Wilde to Garcia, 39 Colum. J.L. & Arts 449 (2016).

Copyright and the Living Dead?: Succession Law and the Postmortem Term, 29 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 77 (2015).

Copyright Policy and the Problem of Generalizing, 38 Colum. J.L. & Arts 375 (2015).

Intent in Fair Use, 18 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 935 (2014).

Constitutional Obstacles?  Reconsidering Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings, 37 Colum. J.L. & Arts 327 (2014) (with June M. Besek).

Speaking of Moral Rights, A Conversation, 30 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 91 (2012) (with Jane C. Ginsburg).

Originality Proxies: Toward a Theory of Copyright and Creativity, 76 Brook. L. Rev. 1487 (2011).

Past Violence, Future Danger?: Rethinking Diminished Capacity Departures Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines Section 5K2.13, 102 Colum. L. Rev. 1340 (2002).