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Business and the Internet: Strategy, Law, and Policy - Spring 1997

Professors Miller, Nesson, Branscomb, Bradley, Nolan, Mr. Kahin
3 credits
Spring 1997

This graduate seminar is jointly presented by the Schools of Business, Government, and Law. By exploring specific firms or industries we will examine strategic choices that illustrate the interplay of business objectives with a set of important legal principles and public policy processes. We will explore the national and international infrastructure of the Internet. We will then look at Internet- related problems of strategy, law and policy raised by fast-moving information technology enterprises (e.g., Microsoft), by enterprises in other established industries being transformed by information technology (e.g., publishing), and by start-up enterprises seeking to develop entirely new Internet businesses (e.g., Open Market, Firefly).

Legal issues of concern will include intellectual property protection, rights of privacy, content control, antitrust, and problems of jurisdiction. Although primarily focused on the U.S.A., comparative studies of how other countries address similar issues will be undertaken.

The seminar will meet on Monday and Wednesday afternoons during the Spring 1997 term according to a schedule that will accommodate the disparate spring vacation and exam schedules of the three schools. Twelve of the course meetings will be joint among the three schools, and will take place in the Weiner Auditorium at the Kennedy School of Government. In addition, a like number of meetings required only of the law students who are enrolled, will be held at the Law School.

Students working in cross-school teams will be expected to develop and present projects as part of the seminar, using the web as both a research vehicle and as a medium for presenting project results.

Approximately 90 students, ideally 30 from each school, will be accepted. Each school will register its own students.