Internet Law 2002

This is the homepage for Internet Law Fall 2002. Materials from Internet Law 2001 have been archived.

St. John's University School of Law

Professor Wendy Seltzer, email
Associate, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
Telephone: (212) 715-7815

Class: Tuesday evening, 6:25-8:25 p.m.
I will try to be available both before (depending on traffic) and after class.
Feel free to call or email me at any (reasonable) time.

Course Information
Current Bot Assignment
Mailing List
Useful Links

Welcome to Internet Law

The expansion of Internet use brings with it a host of new legal challenges. The globally connected information network at once opens opportunities for communication and commerce and threatens existing practices. As lawyers, we are often asked to mediate these encounters between old and new, to apply "old" rules to new activities and to adapt those rules to the new environment of cyberspace.

This course will dig for core principles that will survive the rush of "Internet time," as we survey some of the current debates raging over law online: jurisdiction and overlapping sovereignties; regulation of e-commerce; freedom of speech and its interfaces with anonymity, privacy, and defamation; protection of intellectual property rights; security and government enforcement; and more. We will consider both law and policy, the "is" and the "ought" of cyberspace. As the field develops, persuasive arguments can make yesterday's "ought" into tomorrow's "is."

Important Course Information

Attendance and participation: Internet Law meets once a week. You are expected to attend each class prepared to discuss the assigned reading. After the first week, students will be assigned to panels to prepare particular issues for discussion in greater depth. While I will call first on panel members, I will still expect students not on panel to participate.

Paper: You are each required to write a 20-25 page research paper on a topic of your choice (relating to the subject matter of the course, of course). If you wish to use this course paper to satisfy the school's advanced writing requirement, your paper must be 30 pages in length. During the semester, I will give you the opportunity to submit abstracts and drafts and to discuss those with me and your classmates. I will add paper suggestions to the website as the semester progresses. Please discuss your proposed topic with me before spending too much time with it.

The Bot: An unseen member of the teaching staff is the course Bot. The Bot will ask you questions by email prior to each class. Some of the Bot's questions will be simple polls, while others will ask for paragraph-long responses to a question raised by the readings. On longer questions, your responses will be circulated to a classmate for further discussion. The Bot enforces a rigid time schedule -- responses are due by midnight Monday before class -- but you may skip five questions without penalty. Register with The Bot here. If you have technical problems, please use this link to send feedback.

Grading: The course grade will be based 75% on the final paper, 25% on the quality of your classroom and online participation.


The course syllabus is posted here. Later weeks will be filled in as they approach, to give us flexibility to add late-breaking news and developments.

Last updated: 9/02