2014 Internet Law Casebook and Syllabus Now Available

My 2014 Internet Law syllabus and updated casebook ($8 DRM-free PDF download) are now online. This year I’m celebrating my 20th year teaching the course! (For more background on my Internet Law course, see this essay). This post will explain the changes I’ve made to the casebook and the syllabus from last year.

Internet Law reader cover 2014Casebook

I’ve included the casebook’s table of contents below. For the first time in a long time (ever?), I did not change any principal cases in the casebook. This isn’t because the pace of Internet law has slowed down–things are still moving fast, and many legal doctrines remain murky–but I didn’t feel that the most important rulings were pedagogically better than the current cases in the casebook (or were on topics I don’t cover). For example, I didn’t see enough pedagogical merit in making the students read the Aereo decision, which spends a lot of time on the history of cable retransmission and raises more questions than it answers, and I don’t cover criminal procedure topics where Riley would be useful. Further, as you’ll see below, I’m making a number of procedural changes to the course, and I decided to minimize the substantive changes so I could focus on the pedagogical changes.

While the casebook’s principal cases remain the same, I beefed up the casebook’s explanatory material, including more examples, images and other student-friendly material. I’m especially happy about an entirely new 4,000 word module on “International Approaches to Liability for Information Torts,” where I compare and contrast Section 230 with the ECJ right to be forgotten, the EU Electronic Commerce Directive and UK Defamation Law, and Brazil’s new Internet Bill of Rights. I’ll be posting more about that module soon.

Some other new supplemental materials this year include:

* a cheat sheet on 17 USC 512(c)
* How the DMCA’s Online Copyright Safe Harbor Failed
* ‘Silk Road’ Ruling Will Hurt Online Commerce

As always with the casebook, if you are an academic and want to take a look, just email me and I’ll send you a free copy of the casebook (plus my notes and PowerPoint slides if you want). The reader is priced at $8 for a DRM-free PDF, which I think makes it quite student-friendly.

UPDATE: I’ve added a hard copy edition for $24 at CreateSpace and a Kindle edition for $9.99.

Syllabus

Here’s an electronic copy of the syllabus.

For many years, I graded the course 100% on the final exam. Last year, I added an optional midterm with a small grading bonus for those who chose to do it. About 1/2 of my students took the midterm, and I felt like the midterm exercise made a noticeable difference in the quality of the final exams. As a result, I’m repeating the midterm this year. To get more value out of it, I’m adding peer review of student midterms. I’m hoping this will help students learn by teaching other students. We’ll see how this experiment goes, especially with my non-JD international students (about a quarter of my class right now).

I also added two short papers. The first asks students to analyze an Internet law incident from the field–either from their personal experiences or from a news report. I’m hoping this exercise will get students to actively apply the course material to a real-life problem before the final exam, so they will practice the material.

The second paper is an extension of the final exam. It asks students to discuss what they found most surprising about Internet law. My hope is that this paper will get students to reflect upon their initial assumptions about Internet law and then further reflect on where there might be gaps or ambiguities.

Both papers should also give students more practice with writing, especially outside the oh-so-stilted IRAC/appellate brief context.

The additions of these writing projects partially reflects my experience on the Curriculum Committee and our work developing a law student competency model. After helping to develop the law school’s list of competencies, it was clear to me that the school had to get more competency training in lecture-oriented courses. We have too many competencies to teach in a short 3 years, so students don’t have the luxury of gaining only legal knowledge from lecture courses. We’ll see if the papers actually expand students’ acquisition of competencies.

As you can infer, compared to the typical 100% final exam evaluation method, I have committed to spend a lot more time grading this semester. This is part of a broader rejiggering of my workload prompted by my wife’s cancer. I have been scrubbing a number of time-consuming obligations from my schedule (I’ll have more to say about that later), including offloading many of my administrative duties for the High Tech Law Institute and reducing my Forbes blogging. In theory, reducing those obligations should free up more of my time for grading student work. We’ll see if that theory works in practice. Meanwhile, if you are wondering why you’ll see me less at conferences or in the media, some of that reflects my deliberate schedule streamlining, and some of it reflects that I’m intentionally reallocating more time to teaching.

In addition to the changes in student paper-writing, I will be trying some in-class groupwork. I am a long ways away from a flipped classroom, but I do want to get students engaging with the material in the classroom. I have several “set pieces” where I ordinarily initiate extended discussions with students, and I’ll likely convert some of those to small group discussions before a full class discussion. I’ve long been skeptical of in-class groupwork because it’s so time-consuming, but I want to try it a few times this semester and see if it helps.

Casebook Table of Contents

I.         What is Cyberspace? Who Regulates It?

ACLU v. Reno (CDA I District Ct. Facts Only) ………………………………………………….  Page 1
Noah v. AOL (E.D. Va.) …………………………………………………………………………………………….  20
Geolocation: Core To The Local Space And Key To Click-Fraud Detection ……………..  28

II.        Jurisdiction

Evaluating if Personal Jurisdiction is Proper ………………………………………………………….  37
Toys ‘R’ Us v. Step Two (3d Cir.) ………………………………………………………………………………  38
Illinois v. Hemi Group (7th Cir.) ………………………………………………………………………………  48

III.      Contracts

Specht v. Netscape Communications (2d Cir.) ………………………………………………………….  51
Register.com v. Verio (2d Cir.) …………………………………………………………………………………  71
Courts Won’t Bail You Out If You Can’t Remember What Contract Terms You’ve
Agreed To ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 82
Harris v. Blockbuster ………………………………………………………………………………………………  85
How Zappos’ User Agreement Failed In Court and Left Zappos Legally Naked ……….. 88

IV.       Trespass/Computer Fraud & Abuse Act

Review: the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §1030 [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030], and California Penal Code §502 [http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=484-502.9]

Comparison of Trespass to Chattels Doctrines ………………………………………………………..  93
Intel v. Hamidi (Cal. Sup. Ct.) ………………………………………………………………………………….  94
Register.com v. Verio (Trespass to Chattels section)……………………………………………… 114
Online Trespass to Chattels: a Failed Experiment …………………………………………………. 115

V.        Copyright

Copyright Office Circular 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………  119
Goldman’s Fair Use Cheat Sheet……………………………………………………………………………. 125
Cartoon Network v. CSC (2d Cir.) ………………………………………………………………………….  126
MGM Studios v. Grokster (Sup. Ct.) ………………………………………………………………………  140

Secondary Liability

Review: 17 U.S.C. §512 [http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#512]

Goldman’s 512(c) Cheat Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………… 153
UMG v. Shelter Capital (9th Cir. revised opinion) …………………………………………………  147
How the DMCA’s Online Copyright Safe Harbor Failed ………………………………………… 170
Celebrating (?) the Six-Month Anniversary of SOPA’s Demise ……………………………….. 172

Recap

Ticketmaster v. RMG …………………………………………………………………………………………….  178

VI.       Trademarks and Domain Names

Review: 15 U.S.C. §1114 [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1114], 15 U.S.C. §1125 [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1125] and 15 U.S.C. §8131 [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/8131]

Trademark FAQs …………………………………………………………………………………………………..  190
Trademark Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………………  192

A.        Domain Names and Metatags

Review: ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy [http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp/policy] and Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy [http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp/rules]

Lamparello v. Falwell (4th Cir.) ……………………………………………………………………………..  195
Promatek v. Equitrac (7th Cir.) Original Order and Revision ………………………………..  208

B.        Search Engines

Review: Google’s Trademark Policy [https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6118]

Network Automation v. Advanced Systems Concepts (9th Cir.) ……………………………..  215
Suing Over Keyword Advertising Is A Bad Business Decision For Trademark
Owners ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 229
With Its Australian Court Victory, Google Moves Closer to Legitimizing Keyword
Advertising Globally ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 232
Tiffany v. eBay (2d Cir.) …………………………………………………………………………………………  234

VII.     Pornography

Pornography Glossary ……………………………………………………………………………………………  248
Reno v. ACLU (Sup. Ct. 1997) …………………………………………………………………………………  249
Ashcroft v. ACLU (Sup. Ct. 2004) ……………………………………………………………………………  268

VIII.   Defamation and Information Torts

47 U.S.C. §230 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  282
Zeran v. America Online (4th Cir.) …………………………………………………………………………  285
Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com (9th Cir. en banc) ……………………………………  292
The Value of Consumer Review Websites and 47 U.S.C. § 230 ……………………………….. 320
‘Silk Road’ Ruling Will Hurt Online Commerce ……………………………………………………… 322
International Approaches to Liability for Information Torts ………………………………….. 325

IX.       Privacy

Review: 16 C.F.R. Part 312 [http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-01-17/pdf/2012-31341.pdf (starting at page 38)]

Excerpts from 16 C.F.R. Part 312, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’s Regulations     334
In re. Pharmatrak (1st Cir.) ……………………………………………………………………………………  336

X.        Spam

Review: CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 [http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ187/pdf/PLAW-108publ187.pdf] and 16 C.F.R. Part 316 [http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=16:1.0.1.3.40&idno=16]

Where’s the Beef? Dissecting Spam’s Purported Harms ………………………………………..  347
MySpace v. theglobe.com ……………………………………………………………………………………….  355

XI.       Blogs and Social Networking Sites

The Third Wave of Internet Exceptionalism ………………………………………………………….  364
Doe v. MySpace (5th Cir.) ………………………………………………………………………………………  366
Zimmerman v. Weis Markets …………………………………………………………………………………  373
Big Problems in California’s New Law Restricting Employers’ Access to
Employees’ Online Accounts ………………………………………………………………………………….. 376
In re Rolando S. (Cal. App. Ct.) ………………………………………………………………………………  378
Moreno v. Hanford Sentinel (Cal. App. Ct.) ……………………………………………………………  383

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