Presentation About the Problems of Online Trespass to Chattels
You may recall my prior post where I outlined my conceptual objections to online trespass to chattels doctrines, including the common law, the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act and state computer crime laws like California Penal Code Sec. 502. As I outline in that post, I don’t think nibbling around the edges with CFAA reform is very helpful. Instead, I challenge the basic premise that sending electronic signals to a remote computer is a chattel “use.” If we follow the logic of that revised premise, most of the online trespass to chattels doctrines simply go away.
I think this issue is so important that I put together a “stump speech,” replete with my signature use of Microsoft clipart. Last month, I gave this talk for the first time at the Utah State Bar Cyberlaw Section’s “i-Symposium” in Lehi, Utah. The talk recording (download) and accompanying PowerPoint slides (download) are available in the HTLI iTunesU page (items 39 and 40).
[Photo credit: No trespassing sign painted on cracked ground with vignette with dirty oil footprint over it // ShutterStock]