The Berkman Klein Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman Klein faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed and our Medium collection)

Andean Readiness for the Networked World, Introduction and Regional Overview

Information and communications technologies (ICT) can be a valuable resource for helping the Andean region meet its core challenges of creating more economic opportunity, better ways to teach and learn, more transparent and effective government, and ultimately, a better quality of life. Nations should view ICT as a means rather than an end, and use them to create and leverage opportunities for achieving defined community goals. In order to take full advantage of these powerful tools and understand best how to do it, each nation needs to understand its own state of Readiness for the Networked World, in other words, its capacity to effectively integrate ICT into its functioning.

Authored by
  • Colin Maclay

1 Nov 2003

Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World

Our objective is to provide a foundation to answer key questions facing copyright holders, technology developers and consumers. Among these: How do we balance the legitimate interests of copyright holders with the legitimate interests of the public in the use and enjoyment of digital media? Should technology developers be accountable to copyright holders? What future strategies might compensate copyright holders while also protecting innovation?

Authored by
  • John Palfrey
  • Blythe A. Holden
  • Derek Slater
  • Donna Wentworth
  • Mike McGuire
  • Renny Hwang
  • Cyrill Rigamonti

1 Nov 2003


Small Pieces Loosely Joined

A Unified Theory of the Web

In this insightful social commentary, David Weinberger goes beyond misdirected hype to reveal what is truly revolutionary about the Web. Just as Marshall McLuhan forever altered our view of broadcast media, Weinberger shows that the Web is transforming not only social institutions but also bedrock concepts of our world such as space, time, self, knowledge-even reality itself.

Authored by
  • David Weinberger

5 May 2003

Technology, Terrorism, and the Fishbowl Effect: An Economic Analysis of Surveillance and Searches

The dual forces of terrorism and technology have eroded our understanding of privacy, confronting us with the difficult question, “What balance should we strike between privacy and public safety?” This paper offers an economic framework for analyzing when and to what degree privacy should be protected. It starts from the observation that surveillance can prevent and deter harm but creates disutility from loss of privacy, social costs from avoidance, defensive costs spent on protecting privacy, and administrative costs. The framework has several implications for law governing surveillance and searches. Specifically, with respect to Fourth Amendment doctrine, the framework suggests that courts should adopt different standards of scrutiny, engage in forum-based analysis, and give greater protection to hybrid rights involving speech and privacy.

30 Apr 2003

Be Careful What You Ask For: Reconciling a Global Internet and Local Law

As the Internet becomes part of daily living rather than a place to visit, its rough edges are smoothed and its extremes tamed by sovereigns wanting to protect consumers, prevent network resource abuse, and eliminate speech deemed harmful. The tools are now within reach to permit sovereigns with competing rulesets to play down their differences - whether by countenancing global privatization of some Internet governance issues through organizations like ICANN, coming to new international agreements on substance and procedure to reduce the friction caused by transborder data flows, or by a "live and let live" set of localization technologies to shape the Internet to suit the respective societies it touches.

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain

30 Apr 2003

Internet Points of Control

The online availability of pornography and unauthorized intellectual property has driven Internet growth while giving rise to efforts to make the Net more regulable. Early efforts to control the Internet have targeted the endpoints of the network - the sources and recipients of objectionable material - and to some extent the intermediaries who host others' content. Recently attention has shifted to intermediaries near would-be recipients of content. The U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania permits its attorney general to obtain a court order requiring Internet service providers to block Pennsylvanians' access to Internet locations designated as containing illegal pornography. If successful, this approach could be employed for other regulatory purposes, such as controlling the online distribution of copyright-infringing materials. While the Pennsylvania law suffers from a number of technical limitations and Constitutional vulnerabilities, with some adjustments to Internet architecture and data carriage practices, this approach could become a comprehensive scheme for widespread content control that overcomes a number of enforcement barriers and jurisdiction-related objections. (March, 2003)

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain

1 Mar 2003

Incorporation of Information and Communication Technologies in Schools: The “Internet for Everyone” Project in Panama

For the Internet for Everyone Project to achieve the intended improvements in education, the Commission needs to look outward and create an environment that enables interested stakeholders in the private sector and civil socie ty to participate actively. When combined with careful analysis of lessons learned from similar projects in the region, this approach will give the IFEP a base of knowledge and resources upon which to build a sustainable program.

1 Mar 2003

The Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002: Readiness for the Networked World

The Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002: Readiness for the Networked World provides the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ICTs are being used around the world. Blending visionary commentary with rigorous analysis, the Report addresses the major opportunities and obstacles that global leaders face as they try to more fully participate in the Networked World. Decision-makers face complex choices for which they need comprehensive and reputable information and perspective-these challenges range from telecommunications reform to changing educational needs to new business models to a better understanding of the impact of ICTs.

Authored by
  • Geoffrey Kirkman
  • Klaus Schwab

26 Jun 2002

Readiness for the Networked World: Jamaica Assessment

This readiness assessment is based on a methodology developed by the Information Technologies Group at the Centre for International Development at Harvard University. The methodology aims at assessing the status of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a developing country in order to evaluate the readiness of this country or region to compete in the information economy.

Authored by
  • Rohan Kariyawasam

30 Apr 2002

What the Publisher Can Teach the Patient: Intellectual Property and Privacy in an Era of Trusted Privication

Individuals have long had the desire but little ability to control the dissemination of personal information about their health.... Technology has so far only made exploitation of personal information easier. The danger this era portends is that what is gained in efficiency of health care provision may be lost in erosion of privacy. Privacy advocates could learn a new approach to this problem from an unlikely teacher: publishers of intellectual property - specifically, the American music industry. (February, 2000)

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain

24 Feb 2000

Zoning Speech on the Internet: A Legal and Technical Model

Speech, it is said, divides into three sorts — (1) speech that everyone has a right to (political speech, speech about public affairs); (2) speech that no one has a right to (obscene speech, child porn); and (3) speech that some have a right to but others do not (in the United States, Ginsberg2 speech, or speech that is “harmful to minors,” to which adults have a right but kids do not). Speech-protective regimes, on this view, are those where category (1) speech predominates; speech-repressive regimes are those where categories (2) and (3) prevail.

Authored by
  • Lawrence Lessig
  • Paul Resnick

15 Dec 1999

The Law of the Horse: What Cyberlaw Might Teach

A few years ago, at a conference on the “Law of Cyberspace” held at the University of Chicago, Judge Frank Easterbrook told the assembled listeners, a room packed with “cyberlaw” devotees (and worse), that there was no more a “law of cyberspace” than there was a “Law of the Horse”;that the effort to speak as if there were such a law would just muddle rather than clarify; and that legal academics (“dilettantes”) should just stand aside as judges and lawyers and technologists worked through the quotidian problems that this souped-up telephone would present. (December, 1999)

Authored by
  • Lawrence Lessig

3 Dec 1999

The Biology of Business

Decoding the Natural Laws of Enterprise

In The Biology of Business, John Clippinger and nine outstanding contributors introduce managers to the Complex Adaptive System (CAS) of management, a system that takes into account all of the variables that impact modern enterprises and allows managers to take control from the bottom up.

Authored by
  • John Clippinger

30 Sep 1999

MP3: Copyright Protection for Music on the Move

The Internet has become notorious for the frenetic pace at which its enabling technologies engender movements which impact the lives and interests of those who deal in its realm. Nowhere has this been more clear in recent months than when confronting the concept of music on the Web; most particularly, music distributed via the MP3 format. Artists embrace it as the binary Holy Grail, fans revel in its grassroots symbolism, and recording industry execs just want to know how to make it all go away. Read on for more about how these players and the law interact in a Web showdown worthy of the Internet's "Wild Wild West" appellation.

Authored by
  • Michelle Spaulding

31 Aug 1999

The Power of Openness - Why Citizens, Education, Government and Business Should Care About the Coming Revolution in Open...

As software and networking technologies rapidly insinuate themselves into the deepest reaches of American commerce, culture and governance, the architecture of our democratic society is being transformed. One lesson that is becoming clearer is that the design of hardware and software and the governance of the Internet matters.

Authored by
  • David Bollier

1 Apr 1999

The Censorship of Television

Only an informed public can meaningfully participate in decisions about matters of public import. Television is one aspect of an informal public education. Thus...we should understand the threats to this institution of informal education, and should map the role that the First Amendment might have in protecting against those threats.

Authored by
  • Lawrence Lessig

8 Mar 1999

What Things Regulate Speech: CDA 2.0 vs. Filtering (Draft 3.01)

In 1995, California passed a statute making it a crime to sell porn in vending machines. More precisely, the statute made it a crime to sell “harmful matter” (meaning harmful to minors) in any vending machine, unless that vending machine is equipped with an adult identification number system. What “harmful matter” is is anyone’s guess. (Draft 3.01, May 12, 1998)

Authored by
  • Lawrence Lessig

11 May 1998