|Prerequisites:||None. There will be a brief introduction to the basics of the Internet and advanced communications, but a detailed understanding of computers and telecommunications technology is not necessary. Likewise, some background in copyright or patent law is helpful, but neither is required nor necessary.|
|Recommended Courses:||None in particular.|
The subject of this course is the rules and practices that govern the control and dissemination of information in a world linked and mediated by computer-based networks, including most especially the Internet. The organizing theme of the course is whether legal doctrine developed to regulate social, economic and political interaction in the physical world is appropriate and desirable for governing such interactions in cyberspace. Are there differences between the physical world and cyberspace that justify or require modifications to or even displacement of traditional legal doctrines defining the limits of free speech, judicial and legislative power, individual privacy and autonomy and intellectual property? As time permits, we also will explore some of the attributes of electronic governance (or e-government) and the intriguing potential for expanding democracy that lies in advanced communications and emerging online political advocacy networks and communities.
|Materials||Required: Bella, Berman & Post, Cyberlaw B Problems of Policy and Jurisprudence in the Information Age (West Thompson 2004) (and supplement).|
|Course Format||We will meet regularly to discuss topics from the Bella, Berman & Post casebook. Three students will be asked to take primary responsibility for leading the discussion of the topic assigned for the particular class meeting (including the supplement material), but general class participation is encouraged. There also will be some lecture by way of background and as necessary to meet time constraints. Students will prepare papers on appropriate cyberlaw topics of their own choosing.|
|Type of Exam|
|Basis for grading||Research papers. Two drafts - first and final (20-25 pages double-spaced and exclusive of footnotes). Due dates to be announced.|