headshot photo of Tom W. Bell

Tom W. Bell

Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Expertise: Special Jurisdictions; Copyright; Intellectual Property; Third Amendment; Internet Law
Office Location: Kennedy Hall 438
Phone: (714) 628-2503
Scholarly Works:
SSRN Author Page
University of Kansas, Bachelor of Arts
University of Southern California, Master of Arts
University of Chicago, Juris Doctor


Professor Bell joined the faculty of Fowler School of Law in 1998. His scholarship focuses on special jurisdictions, copyrights, Internet law, prediction markets, and the Third Amendment of the Bill of Rights (the one about quartering troops).  His books include Your Next Government?  From the Nation State to Stateless Nations (2018), and Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good (2014).

Professor Bell received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1993, where he served both as a member of the University of Chicago Law Review and as Articles Editor and cofounder of the University of Chicago Legal Roundtable. After graduating from law school, Professor Bell joined the Silicon Valley law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He entered teaching in 1995, when he became an Assistant Professor of Law in the Law and Technology Program at the University of Dayton School of Law. During a one year leave of absence from that school, and just prior to joining the Fowler School of Law faculty, he served as Director of Telecommunications and Technology Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. 

In addition to writing a steady stream of scholarly works, Professor Bell has appeared on or been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Economist, Los Angeles Times, and many other news sources. He has also starred in several online videos addressing timely legal issues.  Professor Bell serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Special Jurisdictions and advises The Seasteading Institute (pro bono), Pronomos Capital, and Free Society Project, among other organizations.

Courses Taught: Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Advanced Seminar on Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, International Entertainment Law, Property Law, Tort Law, Contract Law,  Agency and Partnership, Corporations, and Law and Economics

List of Scholarly Publications

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

"The Forecast for Anarchy," in ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF ANARCHY (Gary Chartier & Chad Van Schoelandt, eds.; Routledge: 2021)
"Law, Governance, and International Relations of Seasteads," in SEASTEADS: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR SMALL NEW SOCIETIES 159 (Victor Tiberius, ed., Springer Int'l Pub'g 2017)
"What Can Corporations Teach Governments About Democratic Equality?" 31:2 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY & POLICY 230 (2015) (invited); republished in, EQUALITY AND PUBLIC POLICY 230 (Mark LeBar, Antony Davies, & David Schmidtz, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2015)
Five Reforms for Copyright, in COPYRIGHT’S FUTURE 109 (Mercatus 2012) (invited)
"Property" in the Constitution: The View from the Third Amendment, 20 WILLIAM & MARY BILL OF RIGHTS J. 1243 (2012) (invited)
Principles of Contracts for Governing Service, 21 GRIFFITH L. REV. 472 (2012) (invited)
Government Prediction Markets: Why, Who, and How, 116 PENN. ST. L. REV. 403 (2011)
Pirates in the Family Room: How Performances from Abroad, to U.S. Consumers, Might Evade Copyright Law, 18 SOUTHWESTERN J. INT’L LAW 253 (2011) (invited)
The Rule of Law, LEARNLIBERTY, February 18, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAJVu9LK7WE (video I wrote and performed)
The Power of Property Rights, LEARNLIBERTY, March 3, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnjPFZV8Wqo (video I wrote and performed)
Can Order be Unplanned? LEARNLIBERTY, April 4, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPICY2SXgn0 (video I wrote and performed)
Commentary on Predicting Crime, 52 ARIZ. L. REV. 65 (2010) (invited)
Graduated Consent in Contract and Tort Law: Toward a Theory of Justification, 61 CASE WESTERN L. REV. 17 (2010)