Cyberlaw and the Global Economy: 2004

Harvard Law School

Fall Term, Thursdays, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Hauser 102

John Palfrey

jpalfrey at

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Course Administration

Teaching Team: John Palfrey spends most of his time at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. He can be reached most easily via e-mail at jpalfrey at

Office Hours: Please sign up for time on a sign-up sheet kept by Catherine Bracy in the Berkman Center, which is housed in Baker House, 1587 Massachusetts Ave, near the northwest edge of the Law School campus. Office hours will be held from 1:00 - 3:00 on Thursdays during the 2004 Fall semester.

Classroom: Hauser 102.

Textbook: The assigned textbook for this course is Ronald J. Mann and Jane K. Winn, Electronic Commerce (Aspen Law and Business, 2002). Two copies of this textbook are on reserve in the Law School Library. I also recommend that you buy William W. Fisher, III, Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment (Stanford Law and Politics, 2004), which will be in the Coop as soon as it comes out. Optional, but highly worthwhile: One can always benefit from reading Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Basic Books, 1999), though it is not required.

Grading: Students will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • online and class participation (50%). Class participation is self-explanatory. Online participation refers to your posting of commentary to weblogs offered through the blogs@harvardlaw web site and use of the H2O teaching tool. Posting to the blogs ideally reflect your thoughts on the material in the course and link to the thoughts of your colleagues in the class. (For more information regarding blogs and education, see this article from the New York Times.) The H2O participation will take the form of short written assignments, tied into the material taught in the course. There will be three short written assignments using H2O due throughout the term, which are to be answered via the online rotisserie system. The Berkman Center team is glad to help you in using H2O and the blogs site, as needed; and,
  • a final paper of roughly 10 - 15 pages in length (50%), due on December 16, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. This final paper may be on a topic of your choosing, but should obviously have some bearing on one or more issue(s) discussed during the term.

Food for Thought Dinners: The Berkman Center invites you to join us for dinner this term for informal discussions among students taking the various cyberlaw-related courses offered at HLS this Fall. Berkman Center faculty, staff and fellows will also participate in these dinners on an ad hoc basis. No homework is required and the dinners are not required or graded in any way. Please contact Wendy Koslow at the Berkman Center (e-mail: wkoslow at if you are interested in signing up for a FFT Dinner or, better yet, access this web app.