LAW 559

Internet Law, Media and Society

Is there such a thing as “Internet Law,” or does the phrase encompass a variety of legal doctrines which intersect with the global network and its associated applications? In this new course, we will examine what we used to call “CyberSpace” from the perspective of issues that affect individuals and society—free speech, use of content, privacy, crime and social media interactions. To do so, we will devote class sessions to basic legal doctrines relating to Copyright, Trademark, International Law, Telecommunications and Privacy.  Then we will do "deep dives" into current controversies regarding social media platform liability and alleged anti-competitive practices of tech companies, with a special focus on the use of personal data.This class will examine the topic from at least three angles: 1. The historical evolution of the Internet from the 1960’s to the present, with a focus on the debate between anti-regulation and the need for more centralized control and common rules. 2. The major public laws and private initiatives that have attempted to address specific Internet “problems,” such as free speech, the distribution of copyrighted material and the protection of children and vulnerable populations. 3. Examining how lawyers learn about and become advocates for policy positions relating to Internet issues, such as Net Neutrality, Civil Liberties and Copyright protection.

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