Mid-Point Check-in

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Old iLaw Videos · Mid-Point Check-in

The day will end with a mid-point check in with the audience, led by Charlie Nesson. Charlie will solicit comments from audience members and ask for thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations for program improvements.

Part 1: Your Suggestions for Improvement

Add your suggestions to the Discussion Page or use the Question Tool.

Part 2: Reflections on iLaw from Attendees

Comments and Questions During the Session

  • It seems that with all the intelligent individuals in the room, we should be able to produce a meaningful output from the program's events. Let's start brainstorming and determine an output for the program on the Twitter stream.
  • Who can we trust to regulate the Internet?
  • Should law students be learning code?
    • Someone needs to be at the switch, monitoring the gears, and it’s important to master the fundamental concepts early and understand their effects on higher level issues, so that when the times comes, you will have all the necessary tools to make the right decisions and understand how policy and doctrine factors into the decision-making process. Perhaps in another program (or at the next ilaw) we can highlight some of the real world cases where the doctrine has affected code, and where code has affected the doctrine.
  • Why should these issues matter to a law student or a first year associate? As a young lawyer, I may not have the ability to affect these issues; I will not be arguing the key issues at the appellate level, and the FCC will not be asking me for the answer.
    • Many past students have moved on after 1 or 2 years after graduating from law school and actually worked on some of the most controversial areas at the FCC, at companies, and at policy oriented departments at firms and other organizations.
    • It’s important to build the blocks. As a first year associate, you are the person who is working with the law the most. Your opinion will be carried up the chain to the senior associates and the partners as they argue the cases before the courts. You do have an impact from day one, and your impact grows over time.

Survey Feedback re: Mode/Format

PDF of all survey responses to "Speak to us" question

  • Generally into the tweets, question tool, etc.: “quality, quickness, and variety of the exchange”
  • The most insight comes from the debates, either live or via the digital back channels. The room seems to come alive when things break down.
  • We are losing good ideas by having the "experts" dominate the discussion. iLaw was opened to students for a reason -- why not a small group or two to get our input?
  • More cold calling
  • It would be nice to see more law at iLaw
  • Would like to see discussion from industry incumbents on issues like open systems -- the discussion felt one-sided and more diverse perspectives would be appreciated
  • Would it be possible to invite/include more people from different parts of the world--there are global scholars in the room who we'd like to engage
  • I wonder if the twitter+chat+question tool distract and detract more than they contribute
  • Some of the discussions can occasionally become derailed by the experts, and become a little too detailed with unfamiliar topics. a broader level of generality could be helpful, although the discussion between faculty have been fantastic
  • I feel like the discourse has been between professors, academics, foreign scholars, professionals, etc., but relatively little from the students actually taking the course. If we are to be relegated to the question tool, we ought to go to it more often than we are; there needs to be more interaction between us and the speakers


  • *Please* stick to a clear schedule; it’s helpful to know when sessions will begin and end, and very disruptive when the schedule is not followed
  • I’ve been a bit uncomfortable with the long sessions and the warm/stuffy room
  • Space out the days of the program more
  • Sessions were too long (especially Wednesday), lunch was too late in the day and awkwardly spaced, by the end of the day the material remains extremely interesting, but becomes increasingly difficult to absorb such a large amount of information
  • Keep being struck by the remarkable people sitting in the audience. Possible next iLaw to dedicate 30 minutes to VERY brief introductions around the room?

Summary of Striking Insights

PDF of All survey responses to "most striking insight" question

  • interconnectedness of all of these issues
  • level of uncertainty/speed of change surrounding these issues

History of the Internet

  • Prof. Lessig’s notion of mixed modalities (law, norms, markets architecture) and the power of the collective that falls out


  • Herbert Burkert’s “privacy archeology” and the contrast between American and European approaches
  • Extent to which national politics/histories affect attitudes toward privacy in different countries (particularly US vs. Europe)

Citizen Media

  • importance of ties between citizen media and mainstream/broadcast amplification

Intellectual Property

  • Nesson/Public Domain/John Rawls as a starting Point

User Innovation/Peer Production

  • how “scruffy” robust protocols triumph over focused designs -- seems to correspond to how user innovation triumphs over producer innovation
  • when the Internet acts as a space free from market and state controls, we see cooperation, creativity, and altruism, rather than anarchy
  • how to can the idea of user innovation be applied to democratic politics
  • relationship between commons-based peer production and user innovation; relationship of this to justification for IP rights non-economic motives for innovation


  • Observation that the net reproduces social inequalities connects to the overall impression that all of the legal and technical questions are embedded within and bounded by human factor limitations.
  • Overall impression that methods matter
  • I think it’s a shame that lawyers don’t ever deal with good methodology. Methodology determines so much of knowledge derived from real life. are cases all we really get?

Nagging Questions

PDF of survey responses to "any nagging questions"

  • What do we do with this information? What of this information is actionable? What’s the next step? What are (or how do we find) the solutions to the questions we’ve raised?
  • how can students get involved?
  • what can future lawyers do with this information?
  • does Berkman’s academic research produce political/economic/other results? should Berkman focus more on pushing for concrete change in these fields, rather than conducting research?
  • what messages/ideas should participants take away from iLaw?


  • How do we develop law and policy to address the threat to privacy posed by the Internet?
  • How do we balance privacy concerns with freedom of information?


  • Many respondents were generally concerned about their own security online--questions about passwords, personal information being “compromised,” protecting selves online, etc.

Role of Law

  • Some concern that discussions are focused too much on economics/culture/code and not enough on law
  • What is the relationship between the issues being discussed and “big law”?
  • How do these issues play out in courtrooms and Congress?
  • Tension between generativity/openness and privacy/security/IP concerns
  • How do we stop cybersecurity problems without limiting the openness of the web? Alternately, how do we preserve the Internet’s openness and generativity while respecting freedom of expression, privacy, and national security?
  • Given the “ever-present ability of governments and corporations to restrict, constrain, and control,” what is the future of the Net?
  • Will professional creativity disappear in the absence of copyright protection?