Internet & Society: The Technologies and Politics of Control
Harvard Law School
- January 2003
Professor Jonathan Zittrain

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Breaking News

  • The first course materials packet will be available Thursday January 2 at 8:00 am at Printing and Publications Services in the basement of Pound Hall.
  • The second course materials packet is available at Printing and Publications Service in the basement of Pound Hall. 1/13/2003
  • The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is inviting students to submit applications for the Student Think Tank. The purpose of the Student Think Tank is to provide a small number of interested students the opportunity to work on a creative research project related to the Internet. A $350 stipend will be awarded to all students chosen. For further questions, please visit Applications can be downloaded from the website. Please submit completed applications to the Berkman Center, which is located in Baker House, by January 31. 1/20/2003
  • The sample exam questions that were distributed in class are also available here.


We need (at least) 10 brave souls to volunteer to join the first 2 presenting groups (see details in Course Requirements) so that everyone can have sufficient advance notice.  If you are willing to do so, please email me as soon as possible with your willingness at <>.

Course Description

This course examines current legal, political, and technical struggles for control/ownership of the global Internet and its content. The course will draw upon a growing body of cyberlaw cases and commentary, class members' research, and participation by invited guests, including lobbyists, politicians, journalists, and scholars from the HLS faculty and elsewhere. Course themes include the interaction between emerging Internet self-governance regimes and rule by traditional sovereigns; the expression of conflicting interests of commercial and individual Internet speakers/broadcasters; new modes of control over widely distributed intellectual property ("privication"); and the potential for market giants and other architects of Internet technologies to constrain behavior online in ways governments find difficult to assimilate. There are no technical or substantive prerequisites, but students should be prepared to use and experiment with new technologies as part of their coursework and participation. This will be a 3-credit course (2 classroom credits + 1 non-classroom credit). Students interested in writing their third-year paper in conjunction with this course should contact the instructor.