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Christopher Bavitz

Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School | Managing Director, Cyberlaw Clinic | Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Christopher T. Bavitz is the WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is also Managing Director of HLS’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. And, he is a Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. Chris teaches the Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age and Music & Digital Media seminars, and he concentrates his practice activities on intellectual property and media law (particularly in the areas of music, entertainment, and technology).

He oversees many of the Cyberlaw Clinic’s projects relating to copyright, speech, advising of startups, and the use of technology to support access to justice, and he serves as the HLS Dean’s Designate to Harvard’s Innovation Lab. Chris's research and related work at the Berkman Klein Center addresses intermediary liability and online content takedown regimes as well as regulatory, ethical, and governance issues associated with technologies that incorporate algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Prior to joining the Clinic in 2008, Chris served as Senior Director of Legal Affairs for EMI Music North America. From 1998-2002, Chris was a litigation associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and RubinBaum LLP / Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman, where he focused on copyright and trademark matters. Chris received his B.A., cum laude, and Certificate in Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University in 1995 and his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School in 1998.


Projects & Tools

AGTech Forum

The AGTech Forum provides opportunities for collaborative engagement among state attorneys general, technology companies, academics, and other stakeholders about innovation,… More

AI: Algorithms and Justice

The use of algorithms in the judiciary has already raised significant questions about bias and fairness, and looking ahead the moral questions become even more challenging. More

AI: Transparency and Explainability

There are many ways to hold AI systems accountable. We focus on issues related to obtaining human-intelligible and human-actionable information. More

Digital Finance Initiative

A multitude of technical, legal, policy, and economic issues around digital currencies and blockchain technologies have emerged in recent years. More

Lumen

Lumen collects and studies online content removal requests, providing transparency and supporting analysis of the Web’s takedown “ecology." More

Privacy Initiatives

The Berkman Klein Center has long been home to a number of cross-disciplinary initiatives that investigate privacy and privacy-relevant questions in the digitally networked… More

Youth and Media

Youth and Media (YaM) encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth (age 12-18) and digital technology. More

Past

Rethink Music

The Berkman Center works in collaboration with Berklee College of Music on a variety of initiatives under the Rethink Music banner, examining the law, policy, and business… More

Student Privacy Initiative

The Student Privacy Initiative-- part of the Center's growing suite of Privacy Initiatives-- aims to surface, identify, and evaluate central privacy issues and opportunities that… More


Publications

Publication
Dec 10, 2018

Assessing the Assessments

Lessons From Early State Experiences In The Procurement And Implementation of Risk Assessment Tools

This report provides context for state and local officials considering the development, procurement, implementation, and use of Risk Assessment (RA) tools. More

Publication
Sep 25, 2018

Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights

Opportunities & Risks

A legal analysis of some of AI's promises and challenges to conceptions of human rights. More

Publication
May 8, 2018

AGTech Forum Briefing Book: State Attorneys General and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is already starting to change our lives. Over the coming decades, these new technologies will shape many of our daily interactions and drive dramatic… More

Publication
Feb 9, 2018

Follow-up Letter to the Members of the Massachusetts Legislature Regarding the Adoption of Actuarial Risk Assessment Tools in the Criminal Justice System

The following open letter — signed by Harvard and MIT-based faculty, staff, and researchers — is directed to the Massachusetts Legislature to inform its consideration of risk… More

Publication
Nov 9, 2017

An Open Letter to the Members of the Massachusetts Legislature Regarding the Adoption of Actuarial Risk Assessment Tools in the Criminal Justice System

This open letter — signed by Harvard and MIT-based faculty, staff, and researchers— is directed to the Massachusetts Legislature to inform its consideration of risk assessment… More

Publication
Oct 5, 2017

Zero Rating & Internet Adoption

Workshop Paper & Research Agenda

In March of 2016, a diverse group of stakeholders gathered to discuss the use of zero rating as a means to improve Internet adoption in the developing world and how and when it… More

Publication
Mar 22, 2017

Organization & Structure of Open Source Software Development Initiatives

Challenges & Opportunities Concerning Corporate Formation, Nonprofit Status, & Governance for Open Source Projects

A collection of case studies and organizational models for those who manage and participate in open source development initiatives. More

Nov 13, 2013

Privacy and Children's Data

An Overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

This overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was produced by Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw… More


News

News
Apr 10, 2019

The Law and the Digital World

The AGTech Forum at Harvard Law gives state attorneys general a place to learn about technological changes and strategize about how the law can keep up

Insight for Attorney Generals into privacy and emerging technologies More

News
Feb 25, 2019

Tech Giants, Profs Push Justices To Take Google-Oracle Case

The Oracle - Google case. Setting legal norms and a global precedent for software copyrights and infringement.  More

Jul 11, 2018

Algorithms and Justice

Examining the role of the state in the development and deployment of algorithmic technologies

A retrospective from this first year of work, describing research modes and outputs and identifying takeaways. More

News
Dec 1, 2017

When a Bot is the Judge

What happens when our criminal justice system uses algorithms to help judges determine bail, sentencing, and parole? More

Apr 25, 2014

Christopher T. Bavitz Appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Christopher T. Bavitz has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Bavitz has been a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law at HLS and is Managing Director… More

Jul 1, 2013

Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Law School Announce a Reconfiguration of the Berkman Cyberlaw Clinic

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Law School are pleased to announce the promotion of Christopher T. Bavitz to the role of Managing Director of the Cyberlaw… More

May 8, 2012

RB 201: The 42 Streams (Rethinking Music X)

Christopher Bavitz interviews Future of Music Coalition's Kristin Thomson about her recent survey project designed to answer the question, "How are today’s musicians earning money… More

Nov 19, 2010

Radio Berkman 168: Rethinking Music, Part I - Creativity, Commerce, and Policy

This week on Radio Berkman: we sat down with two people who have been very involved in preparing for the Rethink Music conference — Allen Bargfrede, a digital music lawyer and… More


Community

Medium

Establishing a Commission in MA re: Use of AI in State Government

Testimony shared with the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight of the Massachusetts Legislature

Oct 15, 2019
Digital Freedom Fund

Promoting international collaboration among digital rights scholars, teachers, advocates, and activists

A recap of the “Connecting the Digital Rights Field with Academia” workshop

Jul 9, 2019

Courses

Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age - Fall 2019

Professor Christopher Bavitz  This course explores the complex challenges that… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Fall 2019

Professor Christopher Bavitz  The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard's Berkman Klein… More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Fall 2019

Professor Christopher Bavitz with Jessica Fjeld … More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Spring 2019

This seminar is required for all students enrolled in the Cyberlaw Clinic. More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Spring 2019

The Cyberlaw Clinic engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and transactional, litigation, advocacy, and policy projects and… More

Music and Digital Media - Spring 2019

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Fall 2018

This seminar is required for all students enrolled in the Cyberlaw Clinic. More

Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age - Fall 2018

This course explores the complex challenges that entrepreneurs, businesses, and other organizations face when trying to address legal issues relating to technology. More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Spring 2018

This course incorporates instruction about substantive legal issues at the heart of the Clinic's practice, case studies and exercises designed to enhance students' practice skills… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Spring 2018

This course explores the complex challenges that entrepreneurs, businesses, and other organizations face when trying to address legal issues relating to technology. More

Music and Digital Media - Spring 2018

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age - Fall 2017

This course explores the complex challenges that entrepreneurs, businesses, and other organizations face when trying to address legal issues relating to technology. More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Fall 2017

This course incorporates instruction about substantive legal issues at the heart of the Clinic's practice, case studies and exercises designed to enhance students' practice skills… More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Spring 2016

This seminar is required for all students enrolled in the Cyberlaw Clinic. The course incorporates instruction about substantive legal issues at the heart of the Clinics practice,… More

Music and Digital Media - Spring 2016

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. The seminar focuses on traditional legal regimes… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Spring 2016

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Winter 2016

The winter term Cyberlaw Clinic is a by-application offering for advanced students only (student who have taken a prior semester of the clinic). The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at… More

Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar - Fall 2015

This seminar is required for all students enrolled in the Cyberlaw Clinic. The course incorporates instruction about substantive legal issues at the heart of the Clinics practice,… More

Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age - Fall 2015

This course explores the complex challenges that entrepreneurs, businesses, and other organizations face when trying to address legal issues relating to technology. The seminars… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Fall 2015

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvards Berkman Center for Internet and Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Music and Digital Media – Spring 2015

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Music and Digital Media – Spring 2015

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Cyberlaw Clinic – Spring 2015

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Cyberlaw Clinic – Winter 2015

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age – Fall 2014

This course explores the complex challenges that entrepreneurs, businesses, and other organizations face when trying to address legal issues relating to technology. More

Cyberlaw Clinic – Fall 2014

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Music and Digital Media - Spring 2014

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. The seminar focuses on traditional legal regimes… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Spring 2014

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Cyberlaw Clinic - Winter 2014

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Course

Cyberlaw Clinic - Fall 2013

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and… More

Practical Lawyering in Cyberspace - Fall 2013

This course will explore the complex challenges of effectively representing clients in a wide variety of intellectual property, technology and internet-related disputes. More

Course

Music and Digital Media: Seminar - Spring 2013

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. The seminar focuses on traditional legal regimes… More

Course

Cyberlaw Clinic - Spring 2013

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world licensing, client counseling, advocacy,… More

Course

Cyberlaw Clinic - Winter 2013

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world licensing, client counseling, advocacy,… More

Course

Cyberlaw Clinic - Fall 2012

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world licensing, client counseling, advocacy,… More

Practical Lawyering in Cyberspace - Fall 2012

This course will explore the complex challenges of effectively representing clients in a wide variety of intellectual property, technology and internet-related disputes. More

Music and Digital Media: Seminar - Spring 2012

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Practical Lawyering in Cyberspace: Seminar - Fall 2011

This course will explore the complex challenges of effectively representing clients in a wide variety of intellectual property, technology and internet-related disputes. More

Music and Digital Media: Seminar - Spring 2011

This course explores a variety of legal issues relating to the creation, exploitation, and protection of music and other content. More

Practical Lawyering in Cyberspace: Seminar - Fall 2010

This course will explore the complex challenges of effectively representing clients in a wide variety of IP, technology and internet-related disputes. This seminar is… More


Events

Nov 18, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Napster@20: Reflections on the Internet’s Most Controversial Music File Sharing Service

Part of the Cyberlaw Clinic 20th Anniversary Event Series

Examining the direct and indirect legacy of Napster over the past two decades More

RSVP Required
Nov 5, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Regulating Social Media

HLS Journal of Legislation’s 2019 Symposium

A three-day symposium at Harvard Law School More

Event
Nov 6, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

The State of Government Technology

Assessing Government Development, Deployment, and Use of Tech Tools

VIDEO & PODCAST: A close look at the inner workings of government, with a particular focus on the ways in which federal, state, and local government institutions leverage… More

Event
Jan 30, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

The “Monkey Selfie” Case: Can Non-Humans Hold Copyrights?

featuring a panel of experts on copyright, cyber law, and intermediary liability issues

Can non-human animals own copyrights? Can artificial intelligence machines? Join the Berkman Klein Center, the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Program, and the HLS Student… More

Event
Oct 10, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

HUBweek 2017: Programming the Future of AI

Ethics, Governance, and Justice

How do we prepare court systems, judges, lawyers, and defendants to interact with autonomous systems? What are the potential societal costs to human autonomy, dignity, and due… More

Nov 17, 2016 @ 1:00 PM

Transparency and Freedom of Information in the Digital Age

This symposium seeks to examine the present state of play with respect to transparency and freedom of information. More

Sep 19, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Frontier Foundation: A Conversation About National Security Letters

Hosted and Moderated by Christopher Bavitz of the Cyberlaw Clinic.

Join us for a lunch and discussion with Kurt Opsahl, Deputy General Counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which will address the issue of National Security Letters and… More