Internet & Society 2000: 

Readings (Entire Semester)

Module O: Controlling the Internet

Week 1

Tues., Sept. 5: The Story of ICANN

In the beginning, there was a man named Jon Postel.  Postel kept the list.  If you had a computer on the network that would became today’s Internet, Postel knew its unique identifier, and helped to send people your way when they were looking for you.  In short, Postel controlled the root.  The problems began when there were just too many people for Postel to keep track of very easily – when the Internet began to attract more than a few academics, technies and the odd military official.  Postel tried to give away control of the root – control of the list of Internet users – and complexity ensued.  What comes next in the story – from Postel’s abdication through the incarnation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to the present day debates over representation, dispute resolution and new top-level-domains – sets the stage for Internet & Society 2000.  The story of ICANN is among the most compelling case studies in the technologies and politics of control.  

[Please note: we will be revisiting the ICANN story later in the term, around the time of ICANN's next major meeting.  And note also that the first reading, The Tao of IETF, may not make perfect sense prior to class but should come into relief as the story unfolds.]



Required Reading:

The Tao of IETF -- A Guide for New Attendees of the Internet Engineering Task Force (Humble Beginnings)


Module I: Content Control for Money

Week 2

Mon., Sept. 11: Framework. Introduction to Copyright on the Net.

Does the increasing ubiquity of the Internet mean the end of copyright?  Content on the Internet wants to be free, right?  Isn’t that the nature of the medium?  We’ll start by thinking about copyright as we know it in the pre-Internet world and turn quickly to the brilliant, provocative – possibly dangerously counter-cultural – views of John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead songwriter and Internet savant.  We’ll also take a look at a few of the most interesting questions posed by copyright in the Internet context, including the impact of digitized movies and books made available online.  Can – and should – content be controlled for money, or is it meant to be free when the Internet is involved?  And do we have to scrap copyright as we know it?


Required Readings:

John Perry Barlow, "The Economy of Ideas," March, 1994.  (Please be sure to follow the links past page one -- the reading packet from the Distribution Center does not have a complete set of pages for this reading.), "Would You Pay $1 For this Article?," July 27, 2000

Pam Samuelson, Copyright, Digital Data and Fair Use in Digital Networked Environments

Betsy Rosenblatt, "Copyright Basics," March 1998



U.S. Code, Title 17 - Copyrights (see especially Chapter 1, §107)

Senate Judiciary Committee, Testimony on Digital Music, July 11, 2000



Intellectual Property in Cyberspace (online course offered by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society)

The Cuckoo Egg Project


Optional/Breaking News:

Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., et al. (This file is a .pdf which will require Adobe Acrobat to you to read it).


Tues., Sept. 12: Guest Panel: Digital Music

It would likely be the rare student on a university campus in the past twelve months who had not heard someone talking about Napster, an Internet company and service that allows music listeners to share files digitally, or, an Internet site offering downloads of music from virtually every genre.  These Internet services have spawned more in the way of lawsuits, press coverage and worries about bandwidth than they have in profits, however, as entrenched forces like the Recording Industry Association of America have challenged the right of these companies to enable file-sharing in the manner that Napster and others do – crying foul along copyight lines, among other complaints.  The controversy has split the public, artists, and the courts alike.  Can and should traditional copyright right law – much less the Napsters, Gnutellas, and Scours of the new economy – survive the flap? 


Required Reading:

CNET, "Judge Issues Injunction Against Napster," July 26, 2000

Wired News, "Napster Gets Stay of Execution," July 28, 2000

Metallica: Behind the Scenes

Eytan Adar and Bernardo Huberman, "Free Riding on Gnutella," August 10, 2000



RIAA's original complaint against Napster (.pdf).

Salon, "Why Scour is Not Napster"


Go to:

If you have not used Napster, take a tour to see how the software works.  Skim "Napster Copyright Policy" and browse the "Speak Out" page.

Skim "What is Gnutella?" and "Terms and Conditions of Use" in the "Download Gnutella" option area.  Browse "Press Coverage and Links".

Browse the "Scour Technology Freedom Center" and "Copyright Act Info".

Skim the FAQ and the Guide section of the "SDMI Portable Device Specification".  Break the rules and browse also the press releases on the "For the Media" page.


Optional/Breaking News:

Washington Post, " Loses Court Ruling," September 7, 2000

CNET, "Tech Giants Slam Napster Injunction," August 25, 2000

CNET, "Well-Scrubbed Business Plan Not Enough for Scour," September 7, 2000


Week 3

Mon., Sept. 18: Beyond Copyright: Expanding the Content Control Toolbox

Those who seek to control content for money hardly stop at the edges of United States copyright law.  The content control toolbox has a number of tools at the ready, some more controversial than others.  And the content (mis-)appropriation toolbox has arguably an equally potent set of tools.  The legality of heretofore unknown practices like “deep-linking” and “framing” continue to both intrigue and confound lawyers and Internet content mavens alike.  And what about good old-fashioned contract law?  Are there limits to the power and flexibility of contract when it comes to content control?  Are these tools enough, and if not, how can they be supplemented (or supplanted)?



The Washington Post Co., et al. v. TotalNews, Inc., 97 Civ. 1190 (S.D.N.Y., filed Feb. 2, 1997):  Case settled June 5, 1997.  No opinion was issued.  Here is the Complaint.

Shetland Times Ltd. v. Dr. Jonathan Willis and Zetnews, Ltd., Scotland Court of Sessions (Oct. 24, 1996): Case settled Nov. 1997; no opinion issued. Text of Settlement

Ticketmaster v., No. CV99-7654 HLH (BQRx) (C.D. Cal. August 10, 2000).  Latest ruling, denying request for preliminary injunction.  For a discussion of the case, go to this article

eBay, Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc., (N.D. Cal. May 25, 2000):  Federal district court's grant of preliminary injunction against Bidder's Edge.

New York Times, "Is Linking Legal?"

Michelle Spaulding, "Misappropriation," Spring 1998.

For a demonstration of how framing works, go to: First press the NPR link (NPR didn't file suit and agreed to let TotalNews continue framing their material). Then press the CNN Interactive link (CNN was a party to the suit). Note the difference.


West Publishing: West's restrictions on use of information from their legal directory.

Niva Elkin-Koren,"Copyright Policy and the Limits of Freedom of Contract" 12 Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 111 (1997)



Bernstein v. J.C. Penney, Inc., No. 98-2958-R (CD CA, dismissal Sept. 22, 1998).  Case dismissed.  For a discussion of the case see this article.

Church of Scientology v. Dataweb et al, Cause No. 96/1048 (Dist. Ct. of the Hague, Holland, June 9, 1999).  View an article about the case, or the opinion (translated into English).

Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry.  Hale and Dorr’s discussion of the case.

Business Week, "Did 'Deep-Linking' Really Get a Green Light?"

Web Links Can Be Considered Illegal, Osaka Court Judgment Says



Challenges to Meta-Searching and Deep Linking (discussion of eBay controversy)

Computer & Online Industry Litigation Reporter, Microsoft's Link to Ticketmaster Site Spurs Trademark Lawsuit. Article discussing the case brought by Ticketmaster against Microsoft seeking to prohibit the linking to Ticketmaster's site through Microsoft's Seattle Sidewalk web site.

The Computer Lawyer, Futuredontics, Inc. v. Applied Anagramics, Inc. Article discussing the denial of a preliminary injunction against AAI for linking to and framing the Futuredontics Web site.

Deep Linking and Framing

John Dvorak articles about deep linking and the Total News case

Martin J.Elgison and James M. Jordan III, "Trademark Cases Arise from Meta-Tags, Frames. Disputes Involve Search-Engine Indexes,Web Sites Within Web Sites, As Well As Hyperlinking.": In-depth article which focuses on "the delicate balance between protecting the rights of people and businesses and preserving the spirit of open communication that is the hallmark of the Web." Areas examined include spamming, linking, framing, and consumer privacy.

Matt Jackson, "Linking Copyright to Homepages.": Law review article discussing in detail copyright issues and linking as well as related doctrinal considerations. Provides background on constitutional basis and economic rationale for copyright law. Primer included on how the Internet works. 

Mark Sableman, Link Law: The Emerging Law of Internet Hyperlinks. The most recent and thorough examination of legal implications of hyperlink use on the Internet. A long but comprehensive look at the many legal arguments that can be made for and against users of hyperlinks.


Tues., Sept. 19: iCraveTV. Jurisdiction. ICANN UDRP. Cybersquatting.

So far, we've looked primarily at United States law.  A common question: what do you do when someone is outside of the bounds of traditional jurisdiction?  Over the past twelve months, a number of creative responses have emerged to vindicate potentially powerful interests traditionally outside of the reach of the long arm of the law.  

Of course, disagreements happen -- and frequently, it would seem -- on the digital frontier.  Who's the sheriff charged with stepping in to stop the gunslinging?  The process of dispute resolution, particularly in the intellectual property context on the Internet, evolves constantly -- with a variety of potential sheriffs, hard questions about jurisdiction, and powerful interests on multiple, ever-changing sides.  We'll raise thorny questions of online identity, delve into the legal doctrine, and find ourselves mired in the political conflicts related to intellectual property online. 



John Borland, “ Exec Discusses His Start-up’s Short Life.”

“Movie Studios, Networks Sue iCraveTV”


Michael MacClary, Personal Jurisdiction and the Internet, 3 Suffolk J. Trial & App. Adv. 93

ICANN UDRP and Online ADR:

Background on the UDRP.

Robert C. Bordone, Notes: Electronic Online Dispute Resolution: A Systems Approach - Potential, Problems, and a Proposal, 3 Harv. Negotiation L. Rev. 175


Text of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

Diane Cabell, Learning Law in Cyberspace: Name Conflicts.


Optional/Breaking News:

David Post, "Juries and the UDRP," September 6, 2000


Module II: Code as Content: 

Control the Code, Control the Content


Week 4

Mon., Sept. 25: Free Software vs. Proprietary Code. Reverse Engineering.

If you control the code, do you control the content?  What about if you give away the code – and encourage people to take it, change it, and make it there own – what then?  One of the age-old questions (OK, so it’s not that old, but in Internet time it is) is whether code should be “open,” meaning free for all to use and adapt, or “proprietary,” as many of the large software companies would have it.  Professor Lawrence Lessig, Scott Bradner, Julie Cohen, Richard Stallman and many others have a great deal to say on the topic.  Perhaps a harder question is: does it matter? 


Required Readings:

Lessig, Code, Chapter 8, "The Limits in Open Code," pp.  100 - 110

Scott Bradner, "The IETF" (A chapter from Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution; you do not have to read the whole book (unless you want to)).

The GPL Manifesto

Richard Stallman, The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement

Tim O'Reilly, Hardware Software and Infoware

Lawrence Lessig, Reclaiming the Commons.

DMCA exception for Reverse Engineering (Sec. 1201, subsection titled 'Reverse Engineering')

Eric S. Raymond, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar": The research paper by Eric Raymond which, in part, persuaded Netscape to go open-source with its popular browser.

Julie Cohen, "Some Reflections on Copyright Management Systems and Laws Designed to Protect Them," 12 Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 161 (1997)

Original complaint in the CyberPatrol case



Links to more articles and legal documents from the CyberPatrol controversy.


Go to:

W3C Consortium

Skim "about W3C" and W3C software licensing rules.  Browse "Get Involved: Open Source Software".

Browse through the News and 2600 On Trial.  N.B. the "Hacked Sites" page.

Skim the "Introduction" and "About mp3" pages.  Browse the Portfolio of Patents.


Optional/Breaking News:

New York Times, "Whose Intellectual Property Is It, Anyway? The Open Source Wars", August 24, 2000.


Tues., Sept. 26: Trusted Systems

Here's how controlling the code can mean controlling the content: trusted systems.  This session charges headlong into two new areas: the technological advances related to trusted systems and the legal mechanisms set in place by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.   The pieces by Stefik and Zittrain answer the question you may be asking yourself at this moment (“What’s a trusted system?”) and explore what the advent of these technologies means for content control.   We’ll also get into the legal battle over DeCSS, both on its own merits and as a comparison to the Napster and other music-related copyright cases from the first module.

Required Reading:

Mark Stefik, "Shifting the Possible: How Trusted Systems and Digital Property Rights Challenge us to Rethink Digital Publishing" (and recall John Perry Barlow's "Economy of Ideas").

Jonathan Zittrain, "What the Publisher Can Teach the Patient: Intellectual Property and Privacy in an Era of Trusted Privication", "Watermarks in Music"

CNET, "Beware: E-signatures Can Easily Be Forged," July 14, 2000

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (Sec. 1201)



Original complaint, MPAA vs. Reimerdes, Corley, and Kazan (DVD/DeCSS case).



Week 5

Mon., Oct. 2: Valenti v. Lessig. Moot Court: Eldred v. Reno.

One of the most fascinating, colorful debates in cyberlaw, circa 2000, will unfold real-time as Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, debates Professor Larry Lessig, Berkman Center alum and now Stanford Law luminary.  Lessig says that Valenti “is quickly becoming the Internet’s Kenneth Starr.”  Valenti seems convinced that Lessig, “got his law degree from Bob Jones University and his evidence from Austin Powers.”  And all of this over a few zeros and ones.  The debate will take place at lunchtime, so there will be no class at the regularly-scheduled time.  

Please do come at lunchtime or, on the honor system, watch the archived Web-cast.  And come in the evening, if you have time, to hear Lessig moot the case as a practice session for the real event.


Required Readings:

The Industry Standard, "Cyberspace Prosecutor," by Lawrence Lessig (February 21, 2000).

The Industry Standard, Jack Valenti's letter to the editor, "MPAA: Oh, Behave!" (March 27, 2000 - towards the bottom)


OpenLaw's Eldred v. Reno site.


Tues., Oct. 3: How Encryption Works

Understanding the law as it relates to a new technology becomes much easier with an understanding of the technology itself.  Public-key encryption, believed by some to be one of the central inventions of the Internet era, is a critical technology to unpack.  The ability to encrypt data and then to share it with the person or people you intend to share it with – but nobody else – could have substantial implications for the law in cyberspace.  This session may be the most technologically-sophisticated discussion of the course, and is critically important to a full grasp of the content control issue.


Required Readings:

Larry Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, pp. 30 - 42 (with particular attention to pp. 35 - 40).

Reuters, "Clinton Relaxes Crypto Export Rules," July 17, 2000

Scientific American, "Computer Security and the Internet," October 1998 (hard copy only)



Jean Camp, Trust and Risk in Internet Commerce. Chapter 3

David Chaum, "Achieving Electronic Privacy," Science (August 1992): 96-101.




Week 6

Mon., Oct. 9: Encryption and Government Surveillance

The protection of the public safety and the protection of civil liberties often do not go hand-in-hand, and the Internet context is no exception.  Some fear that the national infrastructure is at risk and that criminals and hackers hide in the tangled digital folds of the Internet – and that powerful tools in the hands of government officials is a necessary precaution.  Others contend that the fears are overblown, and that the real fear is the undue intrusion by government into the lives of private, net-using individuals.  Or perhaps there’s a middle ground?


Required Readings:

EPIC, Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Endangerment of Civil Liberties.  

Reuters, "British E-mail Snooping Bill Passes into Law"

NYTimes, "Judge Sets F.B.I. E-Mail Scanning Disclosure," August 3, 2000 (follow trail of article links on the right).

Hard copy excerpt from Michael Adler, "Cyberspace, General Searches, and Digital Contraband: The Fourth Amendment and the Net-Wide Search," Yale Law Journal 105 (1996): 1093.

Wired News, "Top Guns Want to Probe Carnivore," August 21, 2000

ZDNET, "New Weapon in Child-Porn Wars," August 21, 2000


Breaking/Please Read (if Possible):

FBI's Description of Carnivore: Please note that we are being joined for class by the FBI's Thos. Gregory Motta, a lawyer in the Technology Law Unit.  Your familiarity with the Carnivore program will make for a more informed discussion of the material and will help us make the most of Mr. Motta's participation.

Testimony of Dr. Donald Kerr, Assistant Director, Laboratory Division, FBI, to the House Judiciary Committee, July 24, 2000.



Executive Summary from Critical Foundations: Protecting America's Infrastructures. The Report of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (Note:  It is very difficult to download only the Executive Summary so you have to download the entire thing as one pdf.  The content most necessary for our discussion can be found in a subset of the pages. (pp 13-17; 37-40; 109-115; 120-128) for those not wishing to read the whole thing.)


Optional/Breaking News:

Wired News, "Carnivore to Continue Munching," September 7, 2000, "Administration Bias Alleged in Carnivore Review Team," October 4, 2000



Tues., Oct. 10: Defamation, Libel, and Other Harmful Speech. ISP Liability

Imagine that you were a small businessperson who operated a real-world business.  You use the Internet occasionally, but don’t rely on it for much.  One day you begin to receive strange phone calls, faxes and letters – a few at first, quickly becoming a torrent, angry calls referring to something they’ve read about you on the Internet, something about how you've said offensive things about an ethnic group.  You've never said any such thing.  You want the offending information removed from the Web site where it's posted, the calls stopped, and the person who has harmed you in this way brought to justice.  Where can you turn?  Is the Internet Service Provider (ISP) required to help you address the issue?  What happens at the intersection of free speech and harmful speech on the Internet?


Zeran v. America Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997).

The Communications Decency Act of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 230, Public Law No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996) (hard copy)

United States Constitution, First Amendment

United States v. Jake Baker and Arthur Gonda, 890 F. Supp. 1375 (E.D. Mich.1995)

Jonathan Zittrain, The Rise and Fall of Sysopdom, 10 Harv. J. L. Tech. 495 (1997)

DMCA "ISP Safe Harbor" provision (see Title II, Sec. 202)

New York Times/Reuters, "Court Case on Internet Stock Comments," August 21, 2000 (you may need to sign in, for free, as a New York Times reader in order to access this document online)



Blumenthal v. Drudge (note particularly the reference to the case, Stratton Oakmont. Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., 1995 WL 323710 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995)).



Week 7

Mon., Oct. 16: Jane and John Doe: Freedom Fighters or Verbal Terrorists?

Adjust the hypothetical from the last session: now you're a clerk at a major, publicly-traded US corporation.  You're sitting on some information that you believe the public ought to know about, but you fear for your job if you blow a whistle.  Crouched behind a clever online pseudonym and from a remote IP address, you publish your information to the Web in prominent places.  Do you have a right to anonymous speech on the Internet?  Does your ISP have the right to turn over your unique information to the authorities without giving you notice?  Is it relevant whether or not everything you published was accurate?  Jane and Joe Doe are busy people on the Internet -- but are they in for a name change?


Blake A. Bell, "Dealing with the 'Cybersmear,'" April 19, 1999, and e-Securities, December, 1999, "'Cybersmeared' -- One Victim's Tale"'Cybersmear' Lawsuits Raise Privacy Concern,'" November 28, 1999

Public Citizen (News Release), "Consumer Group Helps Citizen Control Legal Pest," December 3, 1999

SF Gate, "Online Speech Hit with Offline Lawsuits"


Go to / Skim:

Terminix - Consumer Alert site

Browse through "My Terminix Nightmare"; skim "Terminix Threats".

EnforceNet Cybersmears Section

Note the companies that have been involved in cybersmear controversies.

ThreadSeek, LLC

Skim the sample analysis and sample report.  Browse "Avoid Public PR Disasters" and "Benefits".

One of our guests, Paul Levy, and his colleagues at Public Citizen, have written a number of briefs on this issue, such as this one related to the Dendrite International case.



QuestNet News Release, May 8, 2000

Bond University (Australia) IT course's syllabus page for cybersmear day


Optional/Breaking News:

Reuters/Yahoo!, "FBI Makes Arrest in Emulex Hoax Case", August 31, 2000.

Reuters/Wired, "Lawsuit Aims at Short-Sellers", August 30, 2000.



Tues., Oct. 17: Corporate Surveillance

Should you trust The Man?  When you surf popular Internet sites for significant periods of time, you are likely being tracked, traced, profiled and data about you sold to the highest bidder (or to all bidders, in some cases).  As an employee, your employer may be watching, too -- and without necessarily warning you clearly about the company's surveillance policies.  We'll test the limits of your privacy rights online and the interests of businesses to ply their trade freely on the Web.  By the way, when was the last time you read the Harvard Law School network's privacy policy?


Lessig, Code, Chapter 11, "Privacy," pp. 142 - 63.  

Solveig Singleton, Privacy as Censorship: A Skeptical View of Proposals to Regulate Privacy in the Private Sector, Cato Policy Analysis No. 295, January 22, 1998.

FTC, "Online Profiling: A Report to Congress," June, 2000

Industry Standard, "Toysmart Settles with FTC," July 21, 2000

CNET, "Thirty-nine States Object to Sale of Toysmart's Customer List," July 21, 2000

CNET, "Net Marketing Firm Receiving Personal Information," July 31, 2000

CNN/Reuters, "Microsoft Tests New Cookie Management Features," July 20, 2000



US West v. FCC

Network Advertising Initiative's Self-Regulatory Policies

P3P and Privacy on the Web FAQ

Interactive Week Online, "Can Net Privacy Coexist with E-Commerce?", December 17, 1997

Joel R. Reidenberg, Lex Infomatica, 76 Tex. L. Rev. 553 (1997).


Optional/Breaking News:

Richard M. Smith, Privacy Foundation Advisory, August 30, 2000

Wired News, "FTC Commish: Regulate Thyself", October 11, 2000


Module III: The Markets for Control


Week 8

Mon., Oct. 23: Weblining and Price Discrimination

So now that a company has collected all this information about you, they want to be able to act on that information -- of course, "to provide you with the best possible online experience."  (Or maybe to extract the most money possible from your shiny new cyberwallet.)  After all, one of the value propositions of the Internet for businesses of all sorts is the ability to target customers better.  We'll look at the controversial practice of Weblining and get some help from economists as to whether price discrimination has a place on the Internet.


Business Week, "Weblining"

CRM Forum paper, “How To Manage Bad Customers or…Profits are from heaven, customers are from hell!”

Business Week, “Special Report:  Privacy on the Net”

Smart Business, “Get Inside Your Customers’ Heads”

The Law and Economics of Price Discrimination (hard copy only)


Go to:

Skim the company's corporate overview and the "Measurement and Analytics" page.

Skim descriptions of DART for Advertisers and DART Analyzer in DoubleClick TechSolutions.  Skim Abacus Online info in the "Advertisers" section.  Browse DoubleClick's privacy page:


Optional/Breaking News:

Wired News, "Online Prices Not Created Equal," September 7, 2000


Tues., Oct. 24: Content Control for Ideology: PICS and CDA.

A few years ago, the United States Congress got worried that our nation's children were exposed to too much dangerous material on the Internet, and a majority passed into law the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (which you looked at a few short weeks ago).  The theory was that content made too free and easily accessible posed a threat; so the Congress took a sledge-hammer to it.  The sledge-hammer approach -- the CDA -- didn't pass the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.  But that has not stopped those who would control content for ideology.  We'll consider some of the technological solutions to the problem posed by unfettered content online and we'll try to answer a basic question about one of those technologies: is PICS the devil? 


Required Readings:

Lessig, Code, Chapter 12, "Free Speech," pp. 164 - 85.  Be sure to read carefully the passages on PICS (pp. 177-8).  Also, recall the chapter entitled "Privacy", pp. 142-63, which discusses the closely-related notion of P3P technologies.

Memorandum Opinion, Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Case No. 97-2049-A. (November 23, 1998)

Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library, (Tech Law Journal Summary)

Lawrence Lessig, Tyranny of the Infrastructure, Wired 5.07 (July 1997)

Board of Education v. Pico

ACLU Report, "Fahrenheit 451.2: Is Cyberspace Burning?"

Reno v. ACLU


Go to:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Browse the Free Expression page, Censorship & Free Expression archive and the Content Filtering archive.


Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)

Skim the "PICS and Intellectual Freedom FAQ".  Browse "What Governments, Media and Individuals are Saying about PICS (pro and con)".


Week 9

Mon., Oct. 30:  Fly-out week (no class)


Tues., Oct. 31:  Fly-out week (no class)


Week 10

Mon., Nov. 6:  E-commerce and Venture Capital

How many times have you heard someone say "the Internet is the wave of the future"?  Or, "The Internet has transformed the global economy"?  Or, "The Internet is changing the way we do business forever"?  It's become almost a cliché to adopt an Internet strategy for a business or to found a start-up Internet company.  But what's really going on in the E-commerce Revolution?  What, if anything, has changed about how we do business?  How much of the "dot com" phenomenon is hype and how much is reality?  Are the astronomical valuations -- in markets around the world -- of recently-formed Internet companies even remotely justified?  What are venture capitalists really looking for (or, what are venture capitalists, for that matter)?  What will the next wave of e-businesses look like?  This session will delve into the changing landscape of e-commerce by examining business models and conventional e-wisdom past, present and future.  We will also examine novel problems -- legal and otherwise -- caused by the e-commerce revolution.

We will be joined by four distinguished guests:

    Paul Brountas, Esq., Senior Partner, Hale & Dorr

    Bill Martin, Founder, Raging Bull

    John McQuillan, CEO,

    Jonathan Roosevelt, CEO, Epesi Technologies


Conventional Wisdom, circa 1995-1996 (ISPs and Search Engines):, "Road Map for the Internet", "Tim Koogle Defends Yahoo's Outrageous Valuation"


Conventional Wisdom, circa 1997-1998 (Portals and B2C):, "Give or Take $100 Billion", "Diary of a Start-up"


Conventional Wisdom, circa 1999-2000 (from B2B to Wireless, Optical, Infrastructure and beyond):

CNET, "Taking Stock of 1999"

Fortune, "The B2B Tool that Really Is Changing the World"  

Washington Post, "Risky Business," August 27, 2000


Optional: Trouble in Paradise?

MIT Technology Review, "Software Patents Tangle the Web"

Forbes, "When Start-ups Become Blow-ups"

CNET, "US to Mull Influence of Growing B2B Sector"

Knowledge@Wharton / CNET, "High Traffic Streams Need Not Lead to More Business," July 24, 2000

SF Gate, "Wrath of the Dot-Com," July 27, 2000

The Big Three strike back



New York Times, The Chaos at the Core of Prosperity, November 5, 2000


Tues., Nov. 7: The Microsoft Case

Microsoft is the ultimate technology company success story, from start-up to the company with the largest market capitalization of any company in the world within less than two decades.  If any company has succeeded in cornering the markets for control, it's Microsoft.  Indeed, according to the United States Department of Justice and at least one federal judge, they succeeded too well.  The Microsoft case continues to unfold in fascinating ways, with enormous potential implications for the law of cyberspace as well as antitrust law in general.  The many themes of the Microsoft case also tie back to the Code as Content segments, such as open v. proprietary code day.


Required Readings:

Jonathan Zittrain, "The Un-Microsoft Un-Remedy: Law Can Prevent the Problem That it Can't Patch Later," 31 Connecticut L. Rev. 1361 (1999).  This link will lead you to the .pdf file of this paper, which you'll need to view using Adobe Acrobat.

New York Times, "Closing Arguments Underscore Gap Between Microsoft and U.S."  This link will lead you to the New York Times on-line; you may need to sign in for free with the New York Times to access this article.  If you do not wish to do so, please look it up on Lexis-Nexis or in hardcopy in the library.

Red Herring, "The Case Against the Microsoft Suit"


Required Readings (handed out in hard copy):

-Paul David, Clio and the Economics of QWERTY, 75 American Economic Review, 332 (1985).

-Stan Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, Should Technology Choice Be a Concern of Antitrust Policy?, 9 Harv. J. L. & Tech. 283, selections (1996).



Optional Readings:

The Microsoft Case Homepage

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's Findings of Fact, November 5, 1999

Jonathan Zittrain,, "The Right Microsoft Remedy -- and Beyond"

Red Herring, "It Reads Like a Novel" 

Red Herring article, "Pondering Microsoft's Breakup Valuation"

Slate Discussion, Jonathan Zittrain & George Priest, "Microsoft: Did Judge Jackson Get it Right?"


Module IV: Between the Public and the Private:

Implications of Architectures of Control


Week 11

Mon., Nov. 13: ICANN Revisited: No Class

Watch a key segment of the ICANN meeting Web cast, either live or archived.


Required Reading:

Look through the ICANN Briefing Book.  Some of the readings were developed by your IS2K colleagues.


Optional Background Readings (NOT in printed materials):

Original Letter from Ralph Nader and James Love to Esther Dyson, June 11, 1999

Response Letter from Esther Dyson, June 15, 1999

ICANN Status Report to the Department of Commerce, June 15, 1999

National Journal, "ICANN't Believe What They're Doing," June 17, 1999

Business Week Online, "What's in a Name?," September 6, 1999

The Industry Standard, "ICANN: Slow as the Nile," March 13, 2000

ICANN At-Large Members Site

Associated Press, "Supreme Court Turns Away Cybersquatting Appeal," June 26, 2000

Wired News, "WIPO Launches 'Squat Fight'," July 10, 2000 or CNET, "UN Widens Effort to Prevent Cybersquatting," July 10, 2000

New York Times, "Domain Disputes," July 28, 2000 


Tues., Nov. 14: Agency and Transparency

Some argue that the modern-day Internet is a great leveling force, allowing nearly anyone on the planet cheap and easy access to much more information than we have had access to in the past.  There's an element of truth to that statement: without question, more information is available to a mass market than ever before, and at very little cost in many cases.  But when you open a browser to get onto the Internet, are you really in control?  What other agents are playing a part in between you and the hard data that you are after?  Are you aware of the presence of those agents?  And do you have any ideas what they're doing -- either to or for you?  The agency and transparency class begs these questions, and others, related to life in a world, some contend, that is plagued by data smog.  We'll explore who these agents are, what they're doing, how transparent their actions are, and whether, in the end, it actually matters.


Required Readings:

Nicholas Negroponte, "Being Digital," Chapters 1 and 13

Michele Evard, "What is 'News'?"

Joel Achenbach, "The Information and Communication Revolution," Chapter 6, "Reality Check"

Keith Abouchar and James Henson, "The World Wide Web as Political Public Space"

David Shenk, "Buckle Up: Safety Instructions for a Speedy Life"

David Shenk, Smog-free Home Page


Go to:


The IEEE's Society on Social Implications of Technology

News in the Future




Week 12

Mon., Nov. 20: The Real-time Black Hole List

Paul Vixie, MAPS RBL Rationale

Paul Vixie, MAPS RBL Usage

Getting Into the MAPS RBL

Getting Off the MAPS RBL

David Post, "Of Black Holes and Decentralized Law-Making in Cyberspace," January 31, 2000.

Business Week, "Web Sites That'll Change the World," January 28, 2000.


Go to:

Compare to the RBL.  Are there legally-significant differences?



The Industry Standard, "Spam Watchdog Floats New Service Ideas"

Larry Lessig in The Industry Standard, "The Spam Wars"

CNET, "NSI Threatens to Sue Black Hole List Operator"

New York Times, "In Spam Case, Another Defeat for State Laws"

ZDNET, "Spam Hits the House of Representatives"

CNET, "Opposed Groups Agree on Anti-Spam Strategy"

USA Today, "AOL, Others, Sued for Spam Blacklist"

CNET, "House Approves Anti-Spam Legislation"

CNET, "Study Finds Filter only Catches Fraction of Spam," June 15, 2000



CNET, "PSINet Assailed as Spam Contract Surfaces," November 6, 2000


Tues., Nov. 21: The End of End-to-End? Marsh and Hamidi.

Required Readings:

Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501 (1946).

Intel v. Hamidi - Tentative Ruling on Motion for Summary Judgment, April 28, 1999



Bill McSwain, Harvard Law Review, "The Long Arm of Cyber-reach."

J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed, and D.D. Clark, "End-to-End Arguments in Systems Design," November, 1984.

D.P. Reed, "The End of the End-to-End Argument," April, 2000.



Module V: Reflections: Tying it All Together


Week 13

Mon., Nov. 27: Case Study: Comparative International Cyberlaw

N.B.: Papers NOT due today but instead on Wednesday, November 29 in hard copy and digitally.

Student-led Class: Aaron Hutman and Stephen Park

Ever wonder why other countries have two-letter prefixes on the Internet whereas the US does not?  And why can't you access in China?  Will ICANN or the WTO be the most important institution regulating the Internet a decade from now?

The Internet has had a profound impact on countries throughout the world apart from the United States.  This class session is devoted to various approaches taken by national governments and international organizations to regulate the Internet.

Many countries decry the encroachment of Western values on the Internet (crying "cultural imperialism!"), pointing to the predominance of American, English-language content.  Singapore and China are two examples of countries that have attempted to restrict individual access to the Internet by claiming to protect their societies in the name of moral values and social stability.

Meanwhile, the Internet has become, literally, a multi-trillion dollar enterprise.  E-commerce - think - has become a buzzword around the world.  The World Trade Organization is now entering the fray... 


Required Readings:

Business Week, "Cultural Imperialism is No Joke," November 30, 1998.  Find it on Westlaw at: 11/30/98 Bus. Wk. 26 / 1998 WL 19885252.

LA Times, "Why the French Hate the Internet," January 27, 1997 (edited for class in hard copy; entire reading linked here).

LA Times, "China Represents Ethical Quagmire in High-Tech Age," January 27, 1997 (edited for class in hard copy; entire reading linked here).

Dickinson Journal of International Law, "The Internet in China: Embarking on the 'Information Superhighway' with One Hand on the Wheel and the Other Hand on the Plug," Spring, 1997.  Find it on Westlaw or Lexis at: 15 Dick. J. Int'l L. 621.

Transnational Lawyer, "From the Great Firewall of China to the Berlin Firewall: The Cost of Content Regulation on Internet Commerce," Fall, 1999.  Find it on Westlaw or Lexis at 12 Transnat'l Law 543.

Elisabeth Staksrud, "How to Censor the Internet," (article on the Internet in Singapore). Two parts, plus bibliographical references.  (Included in the original reading packet, not in the supplement).

"Why Should We Care About the WTO and the Classification Dispute?" and "The Classification Issue -- How Should the WTO Treat Digital Products on the Internet?", Fall, 2000.

WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, "Communication by the European Communities and Their Member States" and "Proposal by the United States".


Optional Readings:

Singapore Broadcasting Agency (government agency responsible for regulating the Internet in Singapore).

Briefing and Basic Facts on the World Trade Organization from the WTO officials Web site.




Tues., Nov. 28: Digital Content Revisited

We began the semester by looking at some of the most controversial issues in the story of the technologies and politics of control, circa 2000, such as the breaking Napster case.  Today, as the term draws to a close, we'll re-examine the questions of how the law should and does enable control of digital content online.  We'll reconsider the cases we addressed earlier in the term, but will also press ahead into the world of online video content, and the DeCSS case in particular.  We'll be joined by a crack panel of experts to help synthesize digital content issues.

Guest Panelists: Prof. Charles Nesson, Harvard Law School; Wendy Seltzer, Berkman Center for Internet & Society; and Charles Sims, Proskauer Rose.


Required Readings:

New York Times, "DVD Case Will Test Reach of Digital Copyright Law," July 14, 2000

OpenLaw: Open DVD: New York DeCSS Case Concludes, "Code on Trial"

Wired News, "Studios Score DeCSS Victory," August 17, 2000 and "Only News that's Fit to Link," August 23, 2000

New York Times Magazine, "Boom Box," August 13, 2000 (this article is found in the New York Times archive, so you may need to register with in order to view it online).



MP3 Module from the Berkman Center, Prof. Terry Fisher and Jocelyn Dabeau


Optional (but please do look at it if you have the time):

Judge Kaplan's decision in the DeCSS case (please follow the link part-way down the page to the .pdf file -- you'll need Adobe Acrobat to view or down-load the file). 


Go to:

Look around and see if you can determine what exactly Microsoft is doing to pursue its "streaming media" strategy.  Try to separate the pure hype from the substance.  Have they figured it out yet?  Does the "it" have possible further anti-trust implications?



Week 14

Mon., Dec. 4: Student Led Class: Kids Revisited - COPA and COPPA

As we learned during the October 24 class on PICS and CDA, many players view content control on the Internet as a high-stakes game - parents, content providers, legislators, educators, free speech advocates. What happens when you get these folks together in a room and charge them with creating the optimal policy for protecting children from harmful to minors Net speech? We'll take a behind-the-scenes look at what the COPA Commission, a congressionally mandated panel, did when charged with just that. Then we'll have the chance to play policymakers ourselves - drawing upon everything we've learned in class this semester, how would we have approached the challenge facing the COPA Commission? What are the practical realities of regulating cyberspace in an actual political climate rather than in the classroom? Class will be followed by a special reception to celebrate the completion of a great semester (one day early).

Required Readings:

COPA amended statute 47 USC § 231 (see especially second half mandating creation of Commission on Online Child Protection)

Declan McCullagh, Wired News, "Court Says Anti-Smut Law Illegal," (summarizes Court of Appeals' June 2000 decision to uphold lower court's finding against COPA; for full opinion, see ACLU v. Reno 217 F.3d 162 in "Background Materials" below)

Commission Report excerpts (the list is long, but each excerpt is short; for full report, including detailed discussion of final recommendations and Appendix containing procedural records, see "Background Materials" below):

List of Commissioners and affiliated organizations

Donald Telage's (Commission Chair's) bio

Executive summary

Technologies and methods (describes Commission's overall methodology and rating system)

Ratings of individual technologies and methods (includes descriptions, ratings and commentary for each child-protective technology and method examined by Commission):

Information resources and family education programs

Filtering and blocking

Labeling and rating

Age verification

New top level domain/zoning

Other options

Personal statements of individual Commissioners (sampling to highlight range of opinions among individual Commission members):

Albert F. Ganier III, Education Networks of America

William M. Parker,

Srinija Srinivasan, Yahoo! Inc.

Analysis of technologies and methods rankings in Commission report (Excel spreadsheet). If you have time, play around with the spreadsheet to see if you can discern the logic underlying the Commission's rating system.

Declan McCullagh and Nicholas Morehead, Wired News, "COPA: Snoozin' in the Cabaña," Examines what happens when different interests come together to jointly shape policy.

David McGuire, Newsbytes, "Child Protection Commission is Broke," What does money buy?

Karen G. Schneider, American Libraries, "Round up the Usual Suspects: Filters, COPA, and All That." Can a filter that relies on deciphering flesh tones really distinguish porn from Olympic swimmers?

Wendy McAuliffe, ZDNet UK, "Children's Groups Slam Yahoo!" About regulation of inappropriate to minors content on chat groups.

Browse (optional):

Skim these sites to get a sense of what's currently available to protect children on-line:

To hear what free-speech advocates have to say, go to (Center for Democracy & Technology) and (a "people for young people's freedom of speech" organization).

Review (optional):

Review readings from October 25 (Content Control for Ideology: PICS and CDA), especially:

Board of Education v. Pico

Lessig, Code, Chapter 12, "Free Speech," pp. 164 - 85; and "Privacy," pp. 142-63.

Reno v. ACLU

Background Readings (optional; NOT in printed materials)

Full Commission Report. This site will give you access to related documents, including testimony at public hearings before the Commission. For a summary of the last public hearing, see

For media and public reactions, skim "No Filtering Recs in COPA Report," and "COPA Commission Issues Report to Congress". ACLU v. Reno, 217 F.3d 162 (3rd Cir. 2000, No. 99-1324), affirming lower court decision to issue preliminary injunction against COPA enforcement.

See also lower court case, ACLU v. Reno, 31 F.Supp.2d 473 (E.D. Penn. 1999, No. CIV.A. 98-5591). Children' Internet Protection Act. This hard-wrangled amendment to a federal spending bill would require schools and libraries to install filters/blocking as condition of federal technology funding.

View these articles about the case: "Government Shouldn't Legislate Net Filters," "Down to the Filter," "Filtering Facts" (in favor of filtering), and "Funding Stalemate Puts Internet-Filter Mandate on Hold". For more comprehensive discussion, see Brigette Nowak, "The First Amendment Implications of Placing Blocking Software on Public Library Computers", 45 Wayne L. Rev. 327, Spring, 1999. For a legal liability perspective on inappropriate content, see James v. Meow Media, Inc., 90 F.Supp.2d 798 (civil action that raises question of whether makers of obscene website can be sued for negligence). Jennifer Zwick, Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, "Casting a Net over the Net: Attempts to Protect Children in Cyberspace." Provides good overview of First Amendment problems with attempts to shield children from inappropriate content (COPA), as well as implications of Internet on privacy rights of children (COPPA).

Lawrence Lessig and Paul Resnick, "Zoning Speech on the Internet: A Legal and Technical Model."

Center for Democracy & Technology, "An Analysis of the Bertelsmann Foundation Memorandum on Self-Regulation of Internet Content: Concerns from a User Empowerment Perspective." Argues that Bertelsmann's controversial proposal for self-regulation of Internet content would jeopardize free speech by supporting global rating systems and collective ISP control over legal content.

"Access Denied, Version 2.0: The Continuing Threat Against Internet Access and Privacy and Its Impact on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community." Takes different perspectives to show that filtering software can have devastating effects on an already marginalized community.

Liza Kessler and Gregory G. Rapawy, Association of Trial Lawyers of America Annual Convention Reference Materials, "Cyberspeech and the First Amendment: Can Community Standards Be Determined on the Internet?" Examines the difficulty of establishing community standards for Internet content given the Internet's global reach, and argues that families and Internet users are best equipped to strike the balance between accessing information and enforcing values. The Council of the European Union, "The Recommendation on Protection of Minors and Human Dignity."

Eric A. Zimmer and Christopher D. Hunter, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, "Risk and the Internet: Perception and Reality." Presents results of content analysis to determine link between public perception of offensive material on the Internet and actual percentage of such material.

Peacefire. Reports results of study analyzing percentage of sites blocked in error from random sample of 1,000 .com domains.


Mon., Dec. 5: Wrap-up (or, What JZ Really Thinks)

N.B.: Last Class