Cyberspace Law Seminar, Spring 2002

Reading Assignments



Please Note: Any reading assignment may become the subject matter of a quiz without further advance notice. All quiz grades combined may constitute up to 10 percent of the seminar grade. Participants are responsible for reviewing this page from time to time.

Occasionally you will find a readings link that does not respond. This may be a temporary condition, or the link may no longer be available or active. Should that occur use it as a challenge to your Web searching skills to find alternative sources rather than a reason to skip it entirely. -- N.J., January 8, 2002; last revised 20020114, 20020116, 20020122, 20020126, 20020201, 20020219, 20020222, 20020305, 20020311.


Contents
Preliminary Reading Assignments

Note on Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas (2001)

Week One: January 16, 2002 (Introduction and Internet)

Week Two: January 23, 2002 (Privacy I)

Week Three: January 30, 2002 (Copyright I)

Week Four: February 6, 2002 (Copyright II)

Week Five: February 13, 2002 (Copyright III)

Week Six: February 20, 2002 (Copyright IV)
 

Week Seven: February 27, 2002 (Readin' Writin' and Hackin')

Week Eight: March 6, 2002 (Privacy II)

Week Nine: March 13, 2002 (Taxing the Internet)

Week Ten: March 27, 2002 (Miscellaneous)

Week Eleven: April 3, 2002 (Presentations)

Week Twelve: April 10, 2002 (Presentations)

Week Thirteen: April 17, 2002 (Presentations)

No Date Assigned (Defamation)
 



Preliminary Reading Assignments

You will be held to the professional standards outlined in "So You Want to be a Lawyer: A Play in Four Acts." If you have not yet read it, do so. If you have, review it.

Read, from "Law of Electronic Media: Concepts, Perspectives and Goals" (1997), the following sub-sections: "Information Age, Information Economy," "First Amendment: The Reasons For, and Purposes and Effects Of," "New Paradigms and 'Thinking Outside the Box,'" "Down-sizing, Out-sourcing, Entrepreneurship, Flat Organizations and the Virtual Corporation," "The Billion-Dollar Bonanza," "You Want It, You Got It," "Orders of Magnitude and the '99.9%-Off Sale," "Technological Displacement and Broadside Blows," "Globalization," and "Information Rich, Information Poor."

Supplement this with "Convergence and Cyberspace" from Johnson, "Regulating the Cyber-Journalist" (1997).

If you'd like an advance look at where much of our material for the readings will be coming from check out Cyberspace Law Seminar graduate David Loundy's "E-Law Locator."

If you're curious about your instructor check out almost anything from his main Web page and especially click on "About" --  with its links to activities reports, affiliations, bibliographies, recent publications, and resumes. His personal bookmarks are available to you. There are over 1500, and many are indexed under categories that will make it obvious to you how they relate to this seminar.

As you know from a previously distributed e-mail, (a) we will in all probability be using Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas (2001), for additional background and discussion throughout the semester, and (b) we will resolve this matter finally, and make arrangements for purchase, at our first seminar session, January 16. [Note, January 22: The seminar participants decided at that session that they did want to order, read and discuss the book. It has been ordered by the law school bookstore, shipped by the supplier, and should be here sufficiently prior to January 29 to enable the start of our discussion of it the evening of January 30.]
[Note, January 26: The book will not be here in time for the January 29 discussion; however, a brief excerpt has been scanned, uploaded, and is available and assigned reading for that evening. ]
Although not a "requirement," as such, it is strongly recommended that you obtain a (free) subscription to the "e-zine" called EDUPAGE. It is a source of potential topics, cool insights into what's going on in cyberspace, and a summary of current news that can save you hours of reading -- not to mention provide you a source of conversational tidbits with which to impress your friends, family, and potential employers. (It's a relatively short e-mail that has a summary at the top and comes to you two or three times a week. Don't take my word for it? Want to see what some of the old issues look like? Check out the "Educause Listserv Archives" at http://listserv.educause.edu/archives/edupage.html. Willing to take the plunge and subscribe right now? Just follow EDUPAGE's instructions (obviously when using the e-mail account to which you want the publication to be delivered):
You can subscribe or unsubscribe by sending e-mail to
LISTSERV@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
To SUBSCRIBE, in the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE Edupage YourFirstName YourLastName
To UNSUBSCRIBE, in the body of the message type:
SIGNOFF Edupage
There are available reading assignments for the entire semester. The reason only four weeks are presented here is because we have yet to decide on, and integrate readings from, Lessig's book (mentioned above). Once that has been done the additional six weeks' reading assignments will be set forth here. Note that of the final four seminar sessions three will be devoted to your oral presentations. The last can be either a make-up session or a dinner at the instructor's home.


Week One: January 16, 2002

We will introduce ourselves and review the seminar expectations and assignments. We will exchange some of our background and experiences with the Internet.

We will discuss the "preliminary reading assignments," above, and . . .

What is "The Internet"? (a) To make sure we're all on the same page, (b) as introductory information for those who are new to the Internet/Web, and (c) as a review for all of us, one of the best statements is found in the Findings of Fact from a judicial opinion. The case, ACLU v. Reno, is one we may look at for its holding and legal analysis later on in the semester. (It deals with a Congressional effort to restrict obscenity and indecency on the Internet: the "Communications Decency Act.") For now, we just want to read a small portion of the opinion, Findings of Fact 1-48. (It printed out to about 7-1/2 pages for me. If you print the entire opinion it (for me) will take 60 pages.) The opinion is available from either this direct link to the eff site (electronic frontier foundation) or if that doesn't work, the ACLU site.



Week Two: January 23, 2002

Privacy I

NOTE: All of the assigned readings are available as links off of the David Loundy "E-Law Locator" page. However, I have also provided direct links to each item from this memo as well (to save you looking for them on David's page). I refer to "pages" to give you some sense of how long these reading assignments are. But because printing differs from one computer to another the assigned sections of documents are identified by their intra-document headings.

What is "privacy" and what protections are already in place for information privacy? "Privacy" is the subject of entire casebooks, a portion of my "Law of Electronic Media" course, the Restatement of Torts, and other volumes and articles, legislation, regulations, and case decisions. So we're not going to attain great expertise in the course of one evening's discussion. I'll review a little.

A useful overview of the implications and issues regarding electronic/information age privacy is contained in a government document. It is a "white paper" prepared for public comment by the National Information Infrastructure Task Force in 1997 called, "Options for Promoting Privacy on the National Information Infrastructure."

(There is an earlier, 1995, publication called Privacy and the NII: Safeguarding Telecommunications-Related Personal Information. ("NII" is short for "National Information Infrastructure." "GII" refers to "global" information infrastructure.) If this is a subject of special interest to you, or you are writing a paper that involves privacy issues, you will want to look at it as well. However, it is not assigned reading for Wednesday evening.)

What is assigned are selected sections from the 1997 "Options" paper, see link above. (My copy of the entire paper prints out to 49 pages.) Read: (a) I (3) "The EU Privacy Directive" (half-page); (b) II "Privacy Defined" (one page); (c) III "Information Privacy in the Electronic Age" (one page-plus); (d) IV "Privacy Protection in Four Economic Sectors" (18 pages) -- an excellent overview of what protections are already in place. (You are, of course, not forbidden to read more; it's useful and insightful brainstorming about how to proceed with public policy. But "as a concession to the shortness of life," if not our seminar period, it's not required.)

What cases have there been so far involving the privacy of, say, e-mail? Read the following:

(a) Andersen Consulting v. UOP (my copy is three pages)

(b) Bourke v. Nissan Motor Corp. (my copy is five pages)

(c) McVeigh v. Cohen (my copy is six pages)

(d) Quad/Graphics v. Southern Adirondack Library System  (my copy is three pages)

(e) State ex rel. Wilson-Simmons v. Lake Cty. Sheriff's Dept. (my copy is five pages) [If this link does not respond for you -- as it did not for me January 22, try putting "State ex rel. Wilson-Simmons" into Google; there are a number of alternative sources.]

(f) Stern v. Delphi Internet Services Corp. (my copy is six pages)

(g) Steve Jackson Games v. U.S. Secret Service (my copy is nine pages)



Week Three: January 30, 2002

Copyright I

Added starter [January 26]: Although Lessig's book will not be here in time, an excerpt is available online and is additional assigned reading for the evening. (1) It's only 4-1/2 pages, with a handful of endnotes. (2) The excerpt deals with matters close to your heart and life: MP3.com and Napster. (3) It gives you some insight into Lessig's approach to copyright that will be useful once we do get to the books. (4) For any of you who are interested, but unfamiliar, with "targets" and "links" within HTML documents (for possible use in your seminar paper when posted to the Web) I have used them for the note calls and endnotes to illustrate the technique.

Some questions to think about ahead of time involving my Web-posting of this material (in light of the copyright law material assigned, below): (1) Have I violated the copyright law? How and why, or why not? How many, and which, of my steps along the way constituted potential violations? (2) Is it relevant that I did not buy the book, but got it as a holiday gift from my sister (whom, we will presume, paid for it at a bookstore)? (3) Is it relevant that you will, at some point, pay for and have your own copy of the book? (4) Are Lessig's known, published views regarding copyright relevant? (5) Assume this would have been a violation for any one of a number of reasons, but is not because of some exceptions, or defenses, that I could raise. What might they be?

And now, back to the rest of the reading assignment for this evening, as previously posted here . . .

Given the relationship of much of Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas (2001), to the law of copyright, it makes sense for us to interrupt our study and discussion of cyberspace privacy at this point (although it is a subject to which we will return) and consider the copyright case and other material earlier than we might otherwise.

Note that, although not posted here now (January 22, 2002), in the event the Lessig book arrives in time we will have an introductory reading assignment from it as well. It will be made available here later, so make a mental note to check back.

Copyright law as a separate course and area of study. As you well know, but I will remind you anyway, there are entire courses devoted to copyright law -- including those at our law school taught by outstanding professors. Thick casebooks, numerous statutory provisions, regulations and court opinions contribute to this body of law. There is also an interesting history of the evolution of copyright over centuries, and its role as a part of international/global law and regulation.

If a part of the reason you are taking this seminar is because you are thinking about the possibility of specializing in intellectual property law I would definitely recommend that you include a copyright law class while you're in law school. Our goal in this seminar is not to master the details of this body of law. We just want to demystify it a little, and cover some of the more basic concepts.

Copyright: The Law.

1. We will be referring to Professor Stacey L. Dogan's contributions to Learning Cyberlaw in Cyberspace: Copyright in Cyberspace. Start with the page this link takes you to: the Introduction (1 page).

2. Then read Dogan's Section One. (2 pages)

3. Next check out the U.S. Copyright Office Web page. It has links to virtually anything you'd want to know as a beginning practitioner of copyright law.

4. Click on the Copyright Office's "Copyright Basics" and read from "What is Copyright?" through "How Long Copyright Endures" (i.e., read to "Transfer of Copyright") (9 pages).

5. If you have not been clicking on the sections of the Copyright Act as they were highlighted in what you've read so far go to either the Copyright Office statutory site (offers both "text" and Adobe Acrobat Reader "pdf" versions) for Chapter 1 of the Act, or the Cornell Law link to the Legal Information Institute (Copyright Chapter 1) -- or whatever alternative is your favorite way of getting to the U.S. Code online -- and make sure you have read at least sections 102, 103, 106, 107 and 117.

Copyright: Its Future on the Internet

6. Read John Perry Barlow, "The Economy of Ideas," Wired 2.03, March 1994. (This is the Pinedale, Wyoming, cattle rancher who wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead and helped found the eff (electronic frontier foundation) with Lotus developer Mitch Kapor. A mind-stretching piece with which we begin our consideration of the role of copyright as cyberspace law. 16 pages. You will find it to be, while not duplicative, at least somewhat consistent with Lessig's approach.)

7. If you have time (it won't be part of a quiz, but will be discussed and could become a part of any quiz next week) -- so you won't be wasting your time to read it now) read Eric Schlachter, "The Intellectual Property Renaissance in Cyberspace: Why Copyright Law Could be Unimportant on the Internet," 12 Berkeley Tech. L. J. 15. The text and endnotes are at two different locations. The link I've provided takes you to a page where you can click on text.html and note.html to get you to both. (It contains about 18 pages of text and 10 pages of notes.)

All in all it should make for an interesting evening.



Week Four: February 6, 2002

Copyright II

The books (Lessig, The Future of Ideas) have arrived, and can be picked up at the law school bookstore. (Note that you are to get them at cost: Amazon's sale price, plus your share of the shipping. If you paid the law school bookstore full cover price you should ask them for a refund/credit.)

Our first reading assignment from the book itself (as distinguished from the scanned and uploaded excerpt for last week' seminar) is chapters 1-3 (pp. 3-48). Make sure you read, think about, and are prepared to offer responses to the discussion questions I have prepared.

You will also want to review, and refer during the discussion, to the papers by John Perry Barlow, and Eric Schlachter, linked from last week's assignment, above.

What follows, below, is the unedited default assignment for this week's seminar if the books had not arrived. We will, at some point, want to read and discuss most if not all of these cases. But since we have the books, let's limit the assignment for this week to the first five opinions -- they are, in total, just 16 pages.

# # #

There are so many wonderful cases illustrating the intersection of copyright law and the Internet that it is as difficult to know where to start as where to stop. But I don't want to overload you with reading. So my compromise has been to include a relatively wide swipe of issues/contexts/cases, but then limit many of them -- sometimes assigning little more than a couple paragraphs of fact statement. In short, it's a less intimidating assignment than first appears from a list of 12 cases.

If you have time to read more than the excerpts I recommend you do so. If you don't, but keep these cites, they will be a place for you to start in the future.

We will also discuss the Barlow and Schlachter pieces some more (see above).

Here are the cases:

Hyperlaw v. West Publishing Co. (my copy is 3 pages plus)

Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Co. Start with "JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the Court." Read the following sections: I, II. A (only; not B), and III. (on my copy that makes about 6 pages of reading)

Expert Pages v. Universal Networks (my copy is 1 page)

Playboy Enterprises v. Frena Read the first 4 paragraphs. Skip the "Summary Judgment" discussion. Read I, "Copyright Infringement." Skip II, "Trademark Infringement," and III, "Unfair Competition." (on my copy that makes about 5 pages)

Playboy Enterprises v. Webbworld Read only III. C. ("Discussion"/"Vicarious Copyright Infringement") (on my copy 1 page)

National Basketball Ass'n v. Motorola This is such an interesting case, both from the standpoint of technology and doctrine, that I'm asking you to read it all. On my copy it's 10 pages of text -- plus footnotes.

Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes Read the first two paragraphs.

Los Angeles Times v. Free Republic Read the first 5 paragraphs; II. C. 3. ("Discussion"/"The Fair Use Doctrine"/"The Amount and Substantiality . . ."), only par. 4-7 (on my copy 2 pages).

Sega Enterprises v. Maphia Read from the beginning to court's findings of fact par. 12 (on my copy 2 pages).

Tasini v. New York Times Co. Read from the beginning to (not through) "Discussion" (on my copy 5 pages).

Recording Industry Ass'n of America v. Diamond Multimedia Systems Read from the beginning to (not through) II (on my copy 2 pages).

U.S. v. LaMacchia Read from the beginning to (not through) "The Copyright Law."

Finally, here is the Ninth Circuit's decision from last year (February 12, 2001) in A&M Records v. Napster, .



Week Five: February 13, 2002

Copyright III

Read chapters 4-6 in Lessig.

We will concentrate on the copyright court opinions assigned for February 6 which we did not get to last week, listed and linked above.



Week Six: February 20, 2002

Copyright IV

1. Lessig: We'll continue with the book by reading Part II: "Dot.Contrast." That's chapter 7, pp. 103-119, and chapter 8, pp. 120-141.

2. Lessig. We'll talk about the piece/proposal that Brad brought to our attention: Hal Plotkin, "All Hail Creative Commons: Stanford Professor and Author Lawrence Lessig Plans a Legal Insurrection," SF Gate, Feb. 11, 2002. If you've already downloaded the piece from the link, you have it. If not, the link is:

<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2002/02/11/creatcom.DTL>

3. We will take apart, line by line, the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., issued Feb. 6, 2002. (By now, I'm assuming you can find cases like this on your own, without a link. But the source I used, wending my way from findlaw.com to the 9th Circuit's site, is a pdf file from the court, found at:

<http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/C38AD9E9A70DB15188256B5700813AD7/$file/0055521.pdf?openelement>)

There is a listserve called "Cyberprof" to which the nation's cyberprofs send comments from time to time. For the ten days after the Arriba opinion appeared the group talked of little else. What would you guess those professors are saying? What are you saying after you've read it? How would you guess Lessig would come out on it? How does the court's analysis relate to his concerns? How would his new "creative commons" proposal have affected this case? Law aside, from a public policy perspective is the court nuts, or is this a good decision?

4. Obviously, we will continue to draw upon the copyright decisions we discussed last session (as you will see, so does the Arriba court).

5. As one way of helping to understand exactly what Arriba is up to, here is an exercise that will take you less than 5 minutes. Admittedly, it only illustrates what Arriba could have done with Kelly's photos rather than what it apparently did do.

First, go to the Arriba site, so you have an idea of who/what it is, and what it looks like:

<http://www.arriba.com>

Once there, you'll discover among the categories of things you can search/places you can go is:

Arts
Crafts, Dance, Literature, Photography,
Architecture, Antiques ...
Click on "Photography" and it takes you to:

<http://www.arriba.com/results.asp?ID=319&term=Photography>

Once there you will be given a choice of:

Cameras
Digital Photography
Film
Motion Pictures
Photographers
Photojournalism
Choose/click on "Photojournalism" and you go to:

<http://www.arriba.com/results.asp?ID=357&term=Photojournalism>

And, once there, one of your choices is:

David Joel Photography
David Joel is a Chicago-based photographer specializing in corporate, educational, industrial, and medical imagery. Many Fortune 500 clients. Over 20 years international experience.
www.davidjoel.com
Click on it, and for some reason www.davidjoel.com takes you to:

<http://www.photoknowhow.com/indexmain.htm>

Where you can see what I gather is David Joel's main page. (He does appear to be, not incidentally, a quite talented photographer.)

There are many things we could find to talk about regarding this contrast with Kelly. And some of them we probably will. For starters, by way of illustration, how is what you've done, following these steps, legally different from what was done in Arriba in terms of "reproduction," "showing," "display"? What was on your monitor while you were looking at Joel's photos? Do these instructions I've provided you also constitute a copyright law violation under the 9th Circuit's standards/analysis? Why or why not?

6. Now that you've seen the Arriba Web site we still need to have an example of the "photos in frames" to which the court refers.

As it happens, our old friend Google can illustrate this quite well. The particular example I've selected may, as well, raise a number of issues beyond Kelly v. Arriba.

So here is the exercise. It, likewise, should take you no more than 5 minutes.

Get to the Google search engine page:

<http://www.google.com/>

Once there, you will note four choices just above the space where you put in your search terms: Web, Images, Groups, Directory. "Web" is the default choice; that is, if you do nothing, and make a Google search, what it searches is the Web for the text terms you select.

If, however, you highlight "Images" it will search the Web for photos and other images.

So highlight (click on) "Images," enter in the search window the name "Bill Gates" (use the quotes), and hit "enter" (or click on "Google Search").

In 0.12 seconds (on my law school computer) up come "thumbnails" of 4700 photos of Bill Gates.

Click on the thumbnail photo that, on my computer, is the sixth (second picture in the second row; for identification, the noted URL under it is "www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9810/13/gates.idg/").

What should now be on your split screen are two "frames."

(For such relevance as it may have in your analysis, the URL at this point is:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9810/13/gates.idg/bill.gates.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9810/13/gates.idg/&h=168&w=195&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Bill%2BGates%2522%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den)

The upper frame shows the "Google" logo, the URL source of the photo, an actual size photo, with the marginal notation on the photo: "(CNN/File)".

The lower frame shows the entire Web page on which this photo was located on this occasion. The content is an article: Ephraim Schwartz and Bob Trott, "Gates Decries Government Meddling," Infoworld, Oct. 13, 1998. (This date is my presumption, since it could also be the date that CNN put it on its Web site.) The Infoword article is, however, presented on a CNN.com Web page with the date October 13, 1998, and the notation that it was "Web posted at: 11:00 AM EDT."

Infoworld is owned by IDG, with Web site http://www.idg.net. The CNN.com page has links to IDG and Infoworld sites. The reproduced CNN.com page carries the notation: "© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved."

This Google illustration comes closer to what Kelly was complaining about. We can use it as our example of "photos in frames" when discussing the case Wednesday evening.



Week Seven: February 27, 2002

Readin' Writin' and Hackin'

How about, to have some fun while expanding our legal education, we take a serious look at "hacking"?

Start with Drash and Morris, "Hackers Vandalize CIA Home Page," a CNN Interactive "Sci-Tech" story, September 19, 1996. (It's about 1-1/2 pages.)

In U.S. v. Morris the 2d Circuit offers a walk through the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. (7 pages.)

Then, in U.S. v. Sablan, the 9th Circuit applies the same section of the Act and the Morris interpretation to another set of facts. (5 pages.)

Want to know what the Prophet and Knight Lightning intended to publish in Phrack magazine? Read U.S. v. Riggs. (4-1/2 pages.)

Or what happens when a high school junior takes on "the system" and makes it to the 7th Circuit? See, Boucher v. School Board. (5-1/2 pages plus footnotes.)

What if Justin Boucher had just limited himself to describing the assistant principal as having the "personality of sour milk"? See, "Florida High School Rescinds Suspension of Senior Who Criticized School on Private Web Site," Student Press Law Center, June 4, 1998. (1/2 page.)

Then give the Student Press Law Center's Web site a click, just to note that there is such an organization, and remind yourself that if an issue exists (a) someone has probably created an organization about it, and (b) created a resource-full Web page -- both things you will, in one context or another, be able to use as a practicing lawyer. (1 page.)

Finally, to round out (or at least expand) the range of our vision on this evening's theme, take a look at these four articles of Pamela Mendels in the New York Times "Cybertimes."

"Professor Puts Holocaust Theories Online, Prompting Accusations at Northwestern," January 10, 1997. (3 pages.)

"Los Angeles School District Accused of Software Piracy," August 12, 1998. (2 pages.)

"Student's Search for Religion Leads to Curb on 'Controversial' Sites," June 3, 1998. (3 pages.)

"Boys Will be Boys, But Does the Internet Prove Too Tempting?", March 25, 1998. (2-1/2 pages.)

At least one response to tempted boys is represented by the handiwork of Senators McCain and Hollings in the "Children's Internet Protection Act," made law a couple of months ago. (2 pages.)

I think you'll enjoy these readings and the evening's discussion.



Week Eight: March 6, 2002

Privacy II

Sorry for the break, but Lessig required that we take the copyright material out of order. So now we can get back to our discussion of "privacy" issues and the cases assigned for week two (which you'll probably need to review at this point), and . . .

the Supreme Court's decision January 12, 2000, in the case of Reno v. Condon (available as a link from the EPIC site; this is the direct URL; my (PDF) copy is nine-plus pages).

EPIC.

(a) Explore this site generally. Know that organizations like this exist -- and employ recent law grads like you. What do we mean by a "public interest organization"? What does EPIC do? How is it organized? Who's on their Board? Would this be a place you'd like to work? Why? How would you describe the organization's mission or purpose? What strategies does it seem to use to accomplish that mission? What are examples of some of the issues in which EPIC has been involved?

(b) [NOTE: You may skip this one paragraph and reading assignment if you wish -- but you'll find it an interesting read if you do read it.] Read EPIC's "Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Endangerment of Civil Liberties"? up to the section headed "Bibliography." (On my copy that is 19 pages-plus.) You may also want to (but are not required to, and will not be quizzed on) "Appendix A: White Paper on PDD-63." (It runs from page 22 through 34 on my copy.) It's the Clinton Administration's official "Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection" referred to in the EPIC document.

This document reads like a Tom Clancy novel, so it's not as daunting as the pages may suggest.

NOTE: Come prepared to represent some group's position on these issues, such as (1) the NSA/CIA/DIA/FBI needs/interests, (2) commercial database providers (e.g., Nexis/Lexis), (3) private sector employers, (4) union representative of employees, (5) ACLU, or (6) anything I've forgotten that you think should be represented. We will have a debate/discussion of the various positions and see if we can evolve a class policy. It should be fun.

(c) Read EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg's "Preserving Privacy in the Information Society" (presented to UNESCO). My copy runs 11-plus pages.

(d) [NOTE: You may skip this document if you wish -- but it's interesting and is only one paragraph.] As an example of what you can uncover using the Freedom of Information Act, and a document relevant to Wednesday's discussion, check out the EPIC-uncovered Brent Scowcroft "Top Secret" White House memo of January 17, 1991. (It's less than one page.)



Week Nine: March 13, 2002

Taxing the Internet

As you'll see, most of these readings are more journalism or its equivalent than "law," and are therefore a relatively quick read. You'll also quickly discover the reasons why: There's not yet a lot of law out there.

But your goal, and assignment, is to come to class Wednesday evening (a) having thought through the issues, and (b) with your own proposal/s for balancing the interests at stake.

Begin with David Adler, "Legal Aspects of E-Commerce."

Then take a look at the only case I've selected so far: Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992). Note that although this link takes you to Justice Stevens' majority opinion, there are also two additional opinions by Justices White and Scalia that you get by clicking on these links (or those on the majority opinion main page). (On my printer the majority's is 7 pages plus some endnotes, Scalia's is one page, White's is four plus notes.) This will give you a sense of what the Supreme Court is struggling with on the related and applicable issues.

Following Quill read a student paper from CLS1999, Brad Graham's "State Sales and Use Taxation of Intangible Goods and Services Purchased via the Internet." (My copy is 12 pages plus endnotes.) It's kind of cool being able to assign a former student's paper, and besides it will provide you a good overview of the e-commerce tax questions.

Next, read the text of the "Internet Tax Freedom Act" (most of the large type 12 pages, a .pdf file) and the November 16, 2001, extension (one paragraph).

Go to Congressman Christopher Cox's Web page; once there, click on "Web Commerce" and read "Web Commerce: A Tempting Target for Tax Collectors?"

Finally, go to the Report of the California Electronic Commerce Advisory Council, "'If I'm so empowered, why do I need you?': Defining Government's Role in Internet Electronic Commerce." Once there, click on and read the "Introduction," and "Taxes." (The former prints out to three pages; the latter 11 pages of text plus endnotes.)



Week Ten: March 27, 2002

Miscellaneous

We're already nearing the point at which you take over the presentations in this seminar with your papers.

There is so much to "cyberspace law" that it is impossible to devote an entire evening to each subject. So I thought it might be time to deal with that legal specialty called "miscellaneous."

David Loundy's E-Law Locator page kindly has such a collection, and an interesting one at that.

What you'll find there are:

You can use David Loundy's links if you wish. They all work (or did this weekend) -- with the exception of the "Nevada Anti-Spam law." CAUTION: If you print out the whole thing -- which is not assigned and is not required -- it will run hundreds of pages through your printer. It can now be found at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-041.html (scroll to the bottom of Chapter 41; what you're looking for are sections NRS 41.705 - 41.735, which print out in their entirety, by contrast, as only one or two pages).

These are all relatively short, and/or can be scanned relatively quickly, and don't make your head hurt to trying to figure out what they're saying. At least I found the variety interesting.



[No date yet assigned.]

Defamation and Other Internet Tort Liability

(In order of size; shortest first -- with the exception of the introductory material.)

Greg Abbott, "Basic Elements of Defamation Law" (Read through II.A; that's 2+ pages on my printout.) It's good for all of us to review and essential for those who've never before studied defamation law. The latter will benefit from reading the entirety of II as well -- an additional 3 pages. I am unfamilar with this author, but (a) this summary is adequate for our purposes and the first I found online, and (b) it is an illustration of something you, as a lawyer, can do with your own Web page.

It's in the Cards v. Fuschetto (2+ pages in my printout)

Rindos v. Hardwick (4+ pages in my printout)

Stratton-Oakmont v. Prodigy Services (this is an alternative URL to David's, at eff, which was busy at the time I put this together) (5 pages in my printout)

Cubby v. Compuserve (7 pages in my printout)

Zeran v. AOL  (7+ pages in my printout)

Louder v. Compuserve (8 pages in my printout)

United States v. Baker (10+ pages in my printout)


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