With the emergence of the global communications network, we can access, store, and transmit vast amounts of digital information, at absurdly low cost, and without apparent regard for geographic boundaries. This digital revolution raises fundamental questions about the content, and application, of existing legal rules to novel phenomena and transactions. This course explores some of the legal and policy issues that arise as more and more conduct migrates to the network, including questions about sovereignty and jurisdiction, the regulation of online "speech," and the control over information on the network (including questions about "privacy" interests that may attach to that information, and the ownership and protection of intellectual property rights in it). We will structure our examination of these issues around a number of conceptual themes that cut across specific areas of doctrine. This will enable us both to explore some jurisprudential and policy questions that apply broadly to a wide range of legal questions arising on the network, and to discuss the ways that the study of "cyberlaw" forces us to question and to re-examine some of the premises that underlie our thinking about the law, and the way that the law operates, in "realspace."
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.