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The Web Difference? Digital Media, Entertainment, and the Law - Spring 2008

Spring term, 2008
M,T 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Professor John Palfrey and Dr. David Weinberger
3 classroom credits LAW-48372A
Spring 2, 3, or 4 optional clinical credits LAW-48372C
Fall or Spring, or 2 Winter

This course will examine the claim of Internet exceptionalism and the implications of this claim in the context of the law and society. Is the Web something substantially new that is changing the fundamentals of who we are and how we're together? Or is it just the next in the communication media humans have invented? What are the problems to which these changes give rise? Which of these problems are ones that we'd like to address through reforms in the law, technology environment, markets, social norms, or other yet-to-be-discovered modes of influence? This course will cover the legal and policy issues to which changes in the news media and entertainment businesses, wrought by the web, give rise. Key doctrinal areas of inquiry include intellectual property, the First Amendment, defamation, and privacy. Students should be prepared to experiment with new technologies, including a course weblog, and to perform some coursework collaboratively. Course requirements include group coursework and a final paper, but no examination.

This course is particularly appropriate as an offering for those students who intend to take, or have taken, the Clinical Program in Cyberlaw at the Berkman Center.