There is no required casebook for this course. All of the reading
material for this course will be posted on this website as the semester
progresses. You can expect that the material typically will be
available about 3 weeks in advance of the class where it will be
discussed. Case material will usually be in the form of a .pdf so that
every student in the class will have an identically formatted version
of each case.
Optional Class Materials
In addition to the assigned reading, there are a variety of optional
class materals posted on the course website under the heading "Optional
Class Materials." In that section, you will find links to material
the assignments including background information about some of the
cases, technical information that may be helpful in understanding the
analysis of the legal issues, and a variety of other materials. A
complete list of the Optional Class Materials for past and current
reading assignments is available at classmaterials.html
304(d) requires “regular and punctual”
To implement this policy, students will be required to initial an
attendance sheet for each class. Failure to initial the attendance
sheet will be counted as an absence. Students must initial the
attendance sheet for themseleves. Asking another student to write your
initials on the sheet when you are absent in order to falsely indicate
presence in class is a violation of the Honor Code. Students who are
absent from more
than 4 regularly scheduled classes will be
administratively withdrawn from the course. Students who miss 3 classes
will be sent a warning letter by email alerting them to the
fact that they are in danger of administrative withdrawal.
The class will be divided into small groups. While
every student is responsible for all of the assigned reading, one group
will be assigned principal responsibility for each week's reading
assignment on a rotating basis.
The final grade will be based exclusively on a three-hour open
book examination. There are no restrictions on the printed
or written materials students may bring with them to the examination
THIS IS A PARTIAL LIST OF ASSIGNMENTS. IT WILL BE UPDATED
PERIODICALLY TO ADD MORE ASSIGNMENTS TO THE LIST AS THE SEMESTER
EACH ASSIGNMENT REPRESENTS THE READING FOR A SINGLE CLASS. IF WE DO NOT
COMPLETE AN ASSIGNMENT IN A SINGLE CLASS, YOU SHOULD READ
ENOUGH OF THE NEXT ASSIGNMENT TO BRING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PAGES READ
(ADDING TOGETHER THE PAGES STILL TO BE DISCUSSED FROM THE PRIOR
ASSIGNMENT TOGETHER WITH THE AMOUNT READ OF THE NEXT ASSIGNMENT) TO AT
LEAST 40 PAGES (UNLESS YOU ARE GIVEN OTHER
INSTRUCTIONS). CLASS DISCUSSION WILL BEGIN WHERE WE LEFT OFF AT THE END
OF THE PRIOR CLASS.
to Reasoning by Analogy)
The topic for the first week is Introduction to Reasoning by Analogy.
The reading starts with early cases before the development of the
internet using analogical reasoning to resolve cases involving common
law doctrine as well as statutory provisions. Later cases in the
assignment deal with cases where reasoning by analogy is used to
resolve cases involving the internet.
Background Material: A good source for background on the development of
the Internet is The
History of the Internet in a Nutshell
I. The Use of Analogy in Legal Reasoning
A. Analogical Reasoning in Common Law and Statutory Cases
Adams v. New Jersey Steamboat Co.,
(Court of Appeals), and McBoyle (Supreme Court)
B. Reasoning by Analogy as Applied to the Internet
eBay v. Bidder's Edge, Intel Corp.
v. Hamidi, and Access Now, Inc. v. Southwest Airlines Co.
Assignment Two (Problems of
Geography and Sovereignty)
The topic for this week and the following week is problems of geography
and sovereignty. In various ways, these readings deal with the fact
that the internet is not located in physical space. That raises issues
about whether or not a governments is entitled to regulate particular
online activities or have jurisdiction over persons based on their
II. Problems of Geography and Sovereignty
A. Application of Local Zoning Ordinances to Online Activity
Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa
and Flava Works, Inc. v. City of Miami
B. Federal vs. State Power To Regulate the Internet
ALA v. Pataki, Washington v.
Heckel, and National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp.
(Continuation of Problems of Geography and Sovereignty)
C. Jurisdiction to Adjudicate
1. Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
Yahoo!, Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le
Racisme et L'Antisemitisme and Sarl Louis Feraud International v.
2. Application of Criminal Law to Out-of-State Conduct
Hageseth v. The Superior Court of
San Mateo County
3. Personal Jurisdiction
Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot
Com, Inc., Amway Corp. v. Proctor & Gamble Co., Young v. New Haven
Advocate, Boschetto v. Hansing, and Tamburo v. Dworkin
The Topic for this week concerns the interaction
of trademark law and domain names. The problems in this area arise
because the domain name registration system is separate from the system
for registering trademarks thus permitting the registration of a domain
name that is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trademark
by someone with no legitimate rights to that name. For students who
want a basic introduction to trademark law, a good online introduction
is available at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm
III. Trademark Law
A. Challenging Registrations of Domain Names Under the Lanham Act
Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, Selected Provisions of the Lanham Act, Planned
Parenthood v. Bucci, Taylor Building Corp. v. Benfield, People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals v.
Doughney, Weather Underground, Inc. v. NCS, Inc., America Online,
Assignment Five (Trademark Law and the Internet) (amended Feb. 22, 2012)
The topic for this week continues the consideration of the interaction
of trademark law and the internet. It first focuses on the Uniform
Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, an online arbitration process to
resolve such disputes that is an alternative to conventional
litigation. It then considers the use of trademarks in the context of
keyword advertising rather than in the registration of domain names.
B. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
C. Keyword Advertising
UDRP, Educational Testing Service v. aaa, Munchkin, Inc. v. Mamas and
Munchkins, LLC, Dluhos v. Strasberg, 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. WhenU.com,
Inc., Rescuecom Corp. v. Google, Inc.
I neglected to include the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy in the
assignment (the assignment includes the UDRP Rules, but not the policy
itself). Please add the following pages after page 168 (I have numbered
them pages 168(a) - 168(e).
Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy
Assignment Six (The
First Amendment and Censorship of Internet Content)
IV. The First Amendment and Censorship of Internet Content
A. Sexually Explicit Speech
Reno v. ACLU, United States v.
American Library Association, Ashcroft v. ACLU, Center for Democracy
& Technology v. Pappert
Assignment Seven (The
First Amendment and Censorship of Internet Content)
B. The First Amendment Applied to Other Types of Internet Speech
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants
Association, Kowalski v. Berkeley County Schools, Ostergren v.
Cuccinelli, Doe v. 2TheMart.com Inc., Solers, Inc. v. Doe, Universal
City Studios, Inc. v. Corley
(Intermediary Liability for Online Content)
V. Intermediary Liability for Online Content
A. Secondary Liability for Defamatory Content
B. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996
Inc. v. CompuServe, Inc., Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services
Co., Section 230, Zeran v. AOL, Inc., Blumenthal v. Drudge, Schneider
v. Amazon.com, Inc., Carafano v. Metrosplash.com, Inc., Fair Housing
Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, LLC, Barnes v. Yahoo!,