LAW 460

Internet Law, Media & Society

Is there such a thing as “Internet Law,” or does the phrase encompass a variety of legal doctrines that intersect with the global network and its associated applications?  This course intends to examine what we used to call “CyberSpace” from the perspective of issues that affect individuals and society—free speech, use of content, consumer protection, 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.

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. An insider’s perspective on how lawyers learn about and become advocates for policy positions relating to Internet issues, such as Net Neutrality, Civil Liberties and Copyright protection.

Mr. Alben was an Internet executive for leading web companies such as Starwave Corporation, which launched, and RealNetworks, which pioneered streaming media.  He participated in major U.S. and international negotiations relating to digital rights management and the formation of new statutes, such as COPPA and the DMCA.  He later served as the first Chief Privacy Officer for the State of Washington, from 2015-19.  He has taught “Privacy, Data & Technology” at the UCLA School of Law (Fall 2019), “Internet Law, Media and Society,” in the Fall of 2020 and “Privacy, Data & Cybersecurity” for the MLS program in the Fall of 2021.  He has also supervised independent research projects for UCLA law and LLM students.

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