Now Available: My Internet Law Syllabus and Reader for Fall 2012

By Eric Goldman

I posted my syllabus and my course reader (a $7.50 download at Gumroad) for Fall 2012. If you teach Internet Law (or hope to), email me if you’d like a free copy of the reader plus my course notes and PPT slides. I’ve priced this reader below the Advertising & Marketing Law casebook Rebecca and I just released because it’s less than 50% as long and has less explanatory material. Still, I think it’s an excellent value for the students.

Although I think it’s been an interesting year for Internet Law, I ultimately didn’t make too many changes to the syllabus and reader from last year. The only changes:

– I added UMG v. Shelter Capital and deleted Io v. Veoh and the district court opinion in Viacom v. YouTube. This was a tough call. I thought the UMG case was a better teaching case than the Second Circuit’s Viacom v. YouTube ruling, even though the YouTube ruling came out second and had some important deviations from the UMG ruling. Plus, my students are located in the Ninth Circuit, so UMG is the governing law for them, and the UMG ruling distills a lot of Ninth Circuit law that had been murky since the 2007 Perfect 10 troika of rulings. On the minus side, the Ninth Circuit has asked the litigants to brief it on possible amendments to the ruling in light of the YouTube ruling, so the version I’ve included in the reader could be superseded (I’d be surprised if the Ninth Circuit didn’t make some changes, even if minor).

– I added my Forbes essay, Celebrating (?) the Six-Month Anniversary of SOPA’s Demise. I haven’t had a chance to repost that essay to this blog yet because I’m combining it with a beefy linkwrap. You’ll get it here soon.

– I added WEC Carolina Energy Solutions v. Miller to the trespass to chattels section. I thought this case was easier to teach than the Nosal en banc ruling (i.e., no messiness associated with a criminal prosecution; and less time on tendentious parsing of the word “so”), and Nosal and its progeny appear to be reshaping the CFAA rapidly in ways that should apply outside the employment context.

– I beefed up my “notes and questions” sections after a number of cases (I’ll post an example soon), plus lots of bug fixes.

I didn’t include the Fourth Circuit’s Rosetta Stone v. Google opinion for a number of reasons, mostly because I don’t think it’s an easy teaching case and because I think lawsuits over keyword ad sales are increasingly anachronistic. Plus, the Ninth Circuit’s Network Automation case (binding law for my students) is already having a major impact on trademark law jurisprudence and is a solid enough foundation for teaching keyword advertising issues.

I also have not added any new materials on privacy, even though it’s been a crazy time for Internet privacy. I still haven’t found any cases I like better than the Pharmatrak case, and I’m not sure I’ve found any supplementary cases that are worth the time. I’d be grateful for your thoughts on this.

To streamline the reader and eliminate some maintenance hassle, I deleted the statutory texts from the reader and just linked to the key ones. I would welcome your thoughts about the best ways to impress upon students the importance of statutory analysis to Internet Law practice. For now, I’m assuming that burden as the course instructor.

My analogous blog posts from years past: 2011; 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005.