Fall 2008 Cyberspace Law Syllabus

By Eric Goldman

I’ve posted my latest Cyberspace Law course syllabus. Some changes from last year:

* added an August 2007 Search Engine Land article by Chris Silver Smith on geolocation technologies and their efficacy.

* added California Penal Code Sec. 502.

* added my slides on trespass to chattels and related doctrines (to save some classtime laying out these complex doctrines).

* added my Fair Use Cheat Sheet (I had routinely distributed it to students during the semester, but this year I finally remembered to include it in the reader).

* substituted the Second Circuit ruling Cartoon Networks v. CSC for the district court ruling in Cablevision. I deleted the Field v. Google case because it became largely redundant with the Cartoon Networks ruling for the pedagogical point about volitional activity.

* substituted the amended Ninth Circuit opinion in Perfect 10 v. Amazon.

* added the Ticketmaster v. RMG case. I’m not sure what to do with this case, but I’m thinking of using it as a mid-semester mini-review.

* deleted the Lockheed v. NSI case and added the Tiffany v. eBay case. The Lockheed case is probably more general in nature and is a 9th Circuit case (and it’s a lot shorter!), so this was a tough call. On the other hand, I think the facts in the Tiffany case better reflect the modern web economy than the 1990s-era Lockheed case.

* substituted the Roommates.com en banc ruling for the 3 judge panel ruling. Fortunately, last year, by the time I got to Roommates.com, the 3 judge panel ruling had already been wiped away by the en banc grant, so I never had to teach that hairball.

* substituted the FTC’s updated CAN-SPAM regulations.

* substituted the Fifth Circuit Doe v. MySpace ruling for the district court opinion.

* deleted the module on spyware/adware. I’ve not been able to get there in the past 2 years, and I don’t see how that will change this year.

Cases from this year that barely missed the cut:

* A.V. v. iParadigms

* Mazur v. eBay

* Zango v. Kaspersky

I need to look at yesterday’s Federal Circuit Jacobsen case. This may be a post-printing addition.

There are still some areas I’m not happy with:

* the Perfect 10 troika of cases regarding secondary copyright liability. They are a big chunk of reading with a low pedagogical payoff because the legal rules are incoherent.

* the keyword advertising cases. I’m still waiting for a great teaching case on keyword advertising. The FragranceNet case is an OK summary of the discussion, and the Playboy v. Netscape case has a number of useful pedagogical angles, but neither is ideal.

More on this topic:

* my Fall 2007 syllabus recap

* my Fall 2006 syllabus recap

* my Fall 2005 syllabus recap

* my Cyberspace Law course page listing all of my syllabi, exams and sample answers from the past 14 years

* my essay on Teaching Cyberlaw