Toni Lester


Academic Division: Accounting & Law

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Northeastern University
  • MA, New England Conservatory of Music
  • JD, Georgetown University
  • BS, Georgetown University

Academic Interests

Creativity and Innovation; Arts and Culture; Law and Society; Human Rights and Inclusion

Awards & Honors

  • 2019 - Babson Scholar Award (2016-2019), Babson College
  • 2014 - Scholar Advisory Group for UN Office of Human Rights Special Rapporteur , "Report On Cultural Rights and The Question of Copyright Policy and the Right to Science and Culture” (2014)
  • 2013 - Kelly Lynch Research Chair (2008-2013), Babson College


Journal Articles

  • Lester, T., Pachamanova, D. (2017). The Dilemma of False Positives: Making Content ID Algorithms More Conducive to Fostering Innovative Fair Use in Music Creation. UCLA Entertainment Law Review, 24 (5), 52-73. link
  • Lester, T. (2016). Will the Cultural Defense Make A Difference in Celebrity and Sports Endorsement Contract Disputes? Pace Intellectual Property, Sports & Entertainment Law Forum, Spring, 21-51.
  • Lester, T. (2015). Oprah, Beyoncé, and The Girls who “Run the World” – Are Black Female Cultural Producers Gaining Ground in Intellectual Property Law? Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law, 15(3), 537-563.
  • Lester, T. (2014). Blurred Lines - Where Copyright Ends and Cultural Appropriation Begins - The Case of Robin Thicke Versus Bridgeport Music and the Estate of Marvin Gaye. Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal(2), 217-241. link


  • Lester, T. (2003). Gender Nonconformity, Race and Sexuality - Charting the Connections: University of Wisconsin Press link


  • Lester, T. (2017). Scandal Surrounding Kevin Spacey, Netflix, and Morals Clauses in Celebrity Contracts: Babson College Leadership Blog link
  • Lester, T. (2016). Comments on Latest 'Sorry' Copyright Lawsuit against Justin Bieber : Babson College Leadership Blog link
  • Lester, T. (2015). Marvin Gaye Verdict: 'Vibe" of Song as Important as Melody: Babson College Leadership Blog link
  • Lester, T. (2015). Toni Lester on Robin Thicke, Innovation, Cultural Appropriation, and Copyright Theft: Babson College Leadership Blog link
  • Lester, T., Noyes, E. (2012). Babson Professors Pose Two Questions To Music Entrepreneurs: Babson College Leadership Blog link