Internet Law

Professor Ari Ezra Waldman

New York Law School

Internet Law is the study of legal regimes that govern the dissemination, collection, and use of digital information. Given the pervasiveness of internet technology and the ubiquitous sharing of information, any lawyer in any field should understand the implications of our digitized life. This course will address issues relating to information regulation, raising questions of free speech, intellectual property, privacy, network ownership, and ISP rights and responsibilities. We will take a multidisciplinary approach, mixing doctrinal discussions of case law with interactive work on solving new problems. We will also discuss things like cyberharassment and nonconsensual pornography, hashtag trademarks, and government access to information.

We meet (almost) every Monday and Wednesday, from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM in W302. Be present. Be on time. Be engaged. Have fun!

CONTACT: My email address is ari.waldman@nyls.edu. My office hours are Mondays, 11 AM - 1 PM. You can stop by or you can sign up for an appointment during office hours by emailing my assistant, Tamara Garland.

Course Goals

By the end of this semester, you should ...

  1. learn how networked technologies have and will continue to impact legal questions related to jurisdiction, free speech, privacy, and intellectual property,
  2. apply current law to vanguard legal and technological issues, including those associated with robots, driverless cars, drones, and more,
  3. learn to summarize the relevant facts of cases, identify patterns among seemingly disparate cases, and continue to perfect a variety of lawyering skills, including legal writing, advocacy, negotiation, and dispute resolution, through in-class, practice-based activities,
  4. critically approach the ways in which current internet law regimes privilege entrenched interests and create burdens for marginalized populations,
  5. understand the impact of implicit biases in technology law, and
  6. have fun!

Reading

Class Participation

Rules and Regulations

James Grimmelmann, Internet Law: Cases and Problems (6th Edition).

This casebook is available online at http://semaphorepress.com/books.html. It's cheap. It's online. It's great. The Semaphore Press business model is all about providing you with accessible text books for your legal education. You are invited to pay the basic cost ($30).

As the semester unfolds, I will also supplement, subtract, revise the readings based on our interests, the news, and our pace. I appreciate the flexibility and I hope you will too.

Please note that I have provided questions to guide your reading. You will find them on the next page. These are not assignments that you have to hand in; no one will see your answers save you, assuming you write them down. However, they may help focus your reading on the topics and skills we will discuss in class. You should not restrict yourself to answering these questions, but you may use them as guides.

Participation is essential for success in this class and in law school generally. I will rarely, if ever, just lecture to you. Class is a discussion among all members of our community, and you should come to class prepared to participate. In the event that there are either an insufficient number or an insufficient variety of volunteers, I will call on you at random. You needn't worry about being called on if you're prepared for class.


Being prepared for class means the following:

1. You did the reading ... of course. Sometimes (read: always), you read it more than once.

2. You reflected on the readings through the questions in the text.

3. You looked up any terms you didn't understand.

4. You completed any homework assignment.

5. You came to class with your readings annotated and your notes available.

Attendance

Attendance is mandatory, per New York Law School's attendance policy. Since this is a 3-credit class, you are entitled to 3 unexcused absences. More than 3 absences could result in a lower grade.

More importantly, class discussion is essential to understanding the material. Missing class puts you at a disadvantage.


Professionalism

We will maintain a courteous and professional learning environment. Professionalism means many things. For example, it means answering questions using appropriate tone and language. It means handing in assignments that reflect the same. Most importantly, it means treating everyone with respect. We are all in this together.

Professionalism also means not distracting your fellow students. Don't chat or engage in unrelated conversations. Do not use your laptop for anything other than taking notes. Trust me, I will know. Turn off your cell phone before class and do not use it during class.

Final Exam

The final exam is an 8-hour, take-home exam that you can take on any day of Exam Period. You can see a previous exam here.