Fall 2011 Internet Law Reader and Syllabus

I have posted my Internet Law syllabus for Fall 2011. In addition, as I did last year, I have posted my Internet Law course reader to Scribd as a DRM-free pay-to-download PDF. You can also buy a print-on-demand copy at CafePress. If you are an academic and would like a free PDF, email me. If you are interested in adopting the reader for your class, definitely let me know and I can also share my PPT slide deck with you. If you are outside the US and therefore unable to pay due to Scribd’s policies, contact me as well.

This year, I made the following changes to my course and the reader:

* Regarding keyword advertising, I replaced the Hearts on Fire case with the Network Automation case. I’m still not 100% sure how the Network Automation case will be interpreted by the lower courts, but the early rulings suggest the Network Automation case has tilted things a little more towards the defense.

* I added the Illinois v. Hemi case. The last thing I want to do is spend more time on Internet jurisdiction issues, but I was able to edit the case down to less than 2 pages. Even with that brief treatment, the opinion is helpful to illustrate the problems of geographic scienter for e-commerce sites, as well as the opinion’s explicit repudiation of the dying Zippo precedent.

* I added Zimmerman v. Weis, which allowed a litigant to get the passwords to its opponent’s Facebook account for discovery purposes. At its core, it’s an e-discovery case, and I don’t plan to spend a lot of time on that topic. However, I think the case will spur a lot of student thinking about the differences between a Facebook account and offline analogues from a privacy standpoint.

* I added the In re Rolando S. case, which said that taking someone else’s Facebook account for a joyride was felony identity theft. I think this is one of the most thought-provoking Internet law cases from the past year. I’m going to be especially interested to see how the students respond to the case.

* I deleted the Mummagraphics and BMG v. Gonzalez cases. It’s always painful to drop cases, but I needed to free up some space for these additions. The Mummagraphics case remains an important precedent, but it did duplicate with a lot of the discussion from the trespass to chattels material earlier in the semester. The BMG v. Gonzalez case was useful to punctuate the point that a fair use defense isn’t going to succeed in the case of personal music downloading, but I think I can make that point effectively enough without the case.

In the reader, I also added a number of drawings, screenshots and other graphical materials to help with the material, plus I added some notes and questions after some of the cases. Progressively, the reader is turning into a real casebook.

My analogous blog posts from years past: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005.