Skip to main content


Tracy Reilly

NCR Professor of Law and Technology

Full-Time Faculty

School of Law


Email: Tracy Reilly
Phone: 937-229-4796
412 Keller Hall
Curriculum Vitae: Read CV


Tracy Reilly teaches real property and intellectual property courses at the School of Law. Before joining the faculty in 2006, she was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, where she worked in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment, advertising, and corporate law. She has also worked as in-house counsel for an independent record label where she specialized in international licensing transactions, at a boutique entertainment law firm in Chicago, and as a law clerk for both the Honorable Wayne R. Andersen in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Honorable Anne M. Burke in the Appellate Court of Illinois. Her clients have included Kraft, Sara Lee, Kellogg, Honeywell, Madison Dearborn Partners, United Airlines, the Chicago Sun-Times, Rand McNally, and the estates of gospel star Mahalia Jackson and Charles Stepney, producer for Earth, Wind & Fire.

Professor Reilly's research interests are focused primarily in copyright and trademark law, with a particular focus on heavy metal music and digital sampling, as well as the interdisciplinary cross-sections of law with philosophy, literature, psychology, religion, and mythology. She is a regular speaker at law and other co-disciplinary conferences.

Recent Presentations

“Iris Murdoch’s Enchanters and the Evil of Cancel Culture,” The Tenth International Iris Murdoch Conference, University of Chichester, England, June 24, 2022.

“Sad But True”: Why Metallica’s Fans Failed Them (and Not Vice Versa) in the Wake of the Napster Lawsuit,” 4th Biennial International Society of Metal Music Studies Conference: “Locating Heavy Metal Music and Culture,” Nantes, France, June 19, 2019.

The “Count”-Less Faces of Dracula: Who Owns the Copyright in the Creature?, Second Annual International Vampire Arts & Film Festival, Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania, May 26, 2017.

Heavy Metal in the Courtroom, Metal in Strange Places: Aural, Emotional, Tactile, Visual Conference, University of Dayton, October 20, 2016.

Courses Taught

LAW 6104 Real Property I
LAW 6400 Intellectual Property Law
LAW 6415 Copyright Law
LAW 6525 Digital Music Sampling & Copyright Infringement
LAW 6804 Real Property II
LAW 6926 Capstone: Trademark Prosecution and Practice
LAW 6971 Trademarks Unfair Competition
International Entertainment Law: DePaul College of Law Study Abroad Program (Prague, Czech Republic, Summers 2010 and 2011)


M.A., Literary & Cultural Studies, University of Dayton, 2022
J.D., summa cum laude, Valparaiso University School of Law, 1995
B.A., cum laude, Northern Illinois University, 1990

Areas of Law

Intellectual Property
Real Property

Selected Publications

Imagining Evil: Iris Murdoch’s Occult Solution to the “Dryness” of Cancel Culture (MA Thesis, forthcoming 2022).

Cancel [©opyright] Culture: A Legal Analysis of George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty Four, 21 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 23 (2021).

Where Did the Mojo Go?: Can the Fall of Our Rock and Heavy Metal Heroes Predict the Fall of Our Culture? (forthcoming book).

“’Sad But True’: Why Metallica’s Fans Continue to Fail Them (and Not Vice Versa) Twenty Years After the Napster Lawsuit,” Popular Culture Review, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring 2020

Copyright and a Synergistic Society, 18 Minn. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 575 (2017).

Copyright and the Tragedy of the Common, 55 IDEA 105 (2014).

Betty Boop Almost Lost Her “Bling-Bling”: Fleischer Studios v. A.V.E.L.A. I and the Re-Emergence of Aesthetic Functionality in Trademark Merchandising Cases (PDF) 94 Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society 95 (2012).

Good Fences Make Good Neighboring Rights: The German Federal Supreme Court Rules on the Digital Sampling of Sound Recordings in Metall auf Metall (PDF), 13 Minn. J.L. Sci. & Tech. (2012).

Marks of Mayhem & Murder: When a Few Bad “Mongols” Spoil the Bunch, Should the Government Seize a Motorcycle Association’s Registered Trademark? (PDF), 7 Buff. Intell. Prop. L. J. 1 (2009).

The “Spiritual Temperature” of Contemporary Popular Music: An Alternative to the Legal Regulation of Death-Metal and Gangsta-Rap Lyrics (PDF), 11 Vanderbilt J. of Entertainment & Tech. L. 335 (2009).

Debunking the Top Three Myths of Digital Sampling: An Endorsement of the Bridgeport Music Court’s Attempt to Afford “Sound” Copyright Protection to Sound Recordings (PDF), 31 Columbia J. of L. & Arts 355 (2008).