Announcing the 2023 Edition of My Internet Law Casebook

I’m pleased to announce the 2023 edition (14th edition) of my Internet Law casebook, Internet Law: Cases & Materials. The book is available as a PDF at Gumroad for $10, a Kindle ebook for $9.99, a softcover version for $20, and a hardcover version for $28. [All printed versions come with a free PDF on request.] For my thoughts about self-publishing an ebook casebook, see this article.

If you’re an academic and would like a free evaluation PDF, email me. I can also share my presentation slides and lecture notes. You might also check out (1) my Internet Law course page, which includes over a quarter-century of syllabi and old exams with sample answers, (2) my article on “Teaching Cyberlaw,” (3) my blog post on teaching Internet Law as an online-only course, and (4) my Canvas modules for my Fall 2021 online-only course.

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I’m reevaluating everything as Internet Law simultaneously explodes and implodes. Last year, I shrunk the book by 7%. This year, I reduced the book ANOTHER 10% as I reluctantly shed some outdated classics. Some of the bigger changes:

  • I replaced the opinion with the Lemmon v. Snap decision. You can imagine how painful this decision was for me. The opinion was a pivotal moment in Section 230 jurisprudence. And yet…the opinion has waned in importance over the years, especially as courts have mostly cited it for the defense and thus merged it into mainstream defense-favorable Section 230 jurisprudence. As a result, I felt like I could summarize the few pieces of that still matter today (I do that in the post-Lemmon notes). Meanwhile, product design is the real Section 230 battlefront today, and the Lemmon case is the flagship case for that line of litigation. I felt like the students would benefit from seeing for themselves what the case does and doesn’t stand for.
  • I replaced the Step Two and Hemi cases on personal jurisdiction with a recent 9th Circuit case, Herbal Brands v. PhotoPlaza. The Step Two case dealt with an edge situation (defendant with no physical presence in the US), and the Hemi case raises some tricky tribal independence issues. In contrast, the Herbal Brands case cleanly deals with the common situation of an Amazon merchant selling in the Amazon marketplace. I don’t love the court’s outcome, and the opinion expressly acknowledges circuit splits that makes me doubt it will be the final word on the matter. However, the opinion is provocative (and confusing) enough to spur some pedagogically valuable conversations.
  • I added the Taamneh v. Twitter SCOTUS opinion as an example of what the law looks like if Section 230 doesn’t apply.
  • I created a new note on “child safety,” recapping the 1990s porn wars and the current battles over age authentication online. The note summarizes and replaces the Reno v. ACLU and Ashcroft v. ACLU opinions that I’ve taught for many years. I struggled with removing the Reno v. ACLU case because it’s a foundational and historically significant Internet Law case. However, I’m skeptical that the Reno case predicts future SCOTUS cases. We will find out soon enough. As for Ashcroft, it was always a long read to reach a quirky outcome, and I don’t think SCOTUS will follow it as precedent.
  • I removed the State v. Taylor true threats case, which I believe it has been overridden by the SCOTUS Counterman ruling. However, I didn’t include Counterman because it would take a lot of teaching time to cover it.
  • I removed my 15-year-old essay on the “Third Wave of Internet Exceptionalism.” I think we are experiencing something like the sixth tsunami of Internet regulation, so the note was antiquated.

Next year, I will likely remove the v. Verio ruling (both the contracts and TTC portions) and the Hamidi ruling. These are all 20 years old and don’t really represent the core doctrines today. This means I am actively seeking a CFAA/scraping case that can help students learn the law. (Neither Van Buren nor hiQ are that LOL). I welcome your suggestions.

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Over the years, I’ve posted a number of book excerpts, including:

(Some of the freely available excerpts are dated, but I update all materials that are still in the book).

As always, I invite your comments and questions.

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Table of Contents

I. What is the Internet? Who Regulates It?

Noah v. AOL (E.D. Va.)
Determining the Geographic Location of Internet-Connected Devices

II. Jurisdiction

Evaluating Personal Jurisdiction
Herbal Brands v. PhotoPlaza (9th Cir.)

III. Contracts

Meyer v. Uber (2d Cir.) v. Verio (2d Cir.)
Harris v. Blockbuster

IV. Trespass/Computer Fraud & Abuse Act

Review: the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §1030 [], and California Penal Code §502 []

Comparison of Trespass to Chattels Doctrines
Intel v. Hamidi (Cal. Sup. Ct.) v. Verio (Trespass to Chattels section)

V. Copyright

Copyright Basics (Copyright Office Circular 1)
Note About Fair Use
Cartoon Network v. CSC (2d Cir.)
MGM Studios v. Grokster (Sup. Ct.)

Secondary Liability
Review: 17 U.S.C. §512 []
Overview of Section 512(c)
UMG v. Shelter Capital (9th Cir. revised opinion)

Ticketmaster v. RMG

VI. Trademarks and Domain Names

Review: 15 U.S.C. §1114 [], 15 U.S.C. §1125 [], and 15 U.S.C. §8131 []

Trademark FAQs
Trademark Glossary

A. Domain Names and Metatags
Review: ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy [] and Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy []

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

B. Search Engines
Review: Google’s Trademark Policy []

Network Automation v. Advanced Systems Concepts (9th Cir.)
Tiffany v. eBay (2d Cir.)

VII. Child Safety

Pornography Glossary
The Regulation of Children’s Safety Online
Age Authentication Online

VIII. Defamation and Information Torts

Bauer v. Brinkman (Iowa Sup. Ct.)
47 U.S.C. §230
An Introduction to Section 230
A Note About FOSTA
Zeran v. America Online (4th Cir.)
Lemmon v. Snap (9th Cir.)
Twitter v. Taamneh (Sup. Ct.)
Top Myths About Content Moderation
Section 230 and Foreign Liability for Third-Party Content

IX. Privacy

Review: 16 C.F.R. Part 312 [ (starting at page 38)]

Excerpts from 16 C.F.R. Part 312, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’s Regulations
Overview of the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and State Consumer Privacy Laws
In re. Pharmatrak (1st Cir.)

X. Spam

Review: CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 [] and 16 C.F.R. Part 316 []

XI. Social Media

People v. Lopez (Cal. App. Ct.)
Doe v. MySpace (5th Cir.)
Moreno v. Hanford Sentinel (Cal. App. Ct.)