Greg R. Vetter

Internet Law, Spring 2009

Course Description

This course covers a survey of legal issues arising from the rapid growth of the internet and other on-line communications.

Generally Applicable Syllabus Information

Please read carefully the Generally Applicable Syllabus Information. This document sets forth course policy for attendance, preparation and participation, use of computers, examination and grading, and other items. A complete understanding of this document is necessary to take full meaning from the Class Schedule and Other Information set forth immediately below.

Class Schedule and Other Information

Name: Internet Law
Class # / Section #: 6325 / 18634
Place: 215-TUII
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. (2 class sessions per week, 3 credit hours)
 
Required Text:

Margaret Jane Radin, et al., Internet Commerce: The Emerging Legal Framework (2nd ed. 2006) (Foundation Press).

Supplement?: There is no requirement to purchase a statutory supplement.

Certain documents may be assigned from time to time from sources other than the casebook. These documents will be provided via links in the class assignment table below or in a separate page of class links. Paper copies of these documents will typically not be provided in class, so students should plan to print them or review them electronically.
Prerequisites None.
Grading: The course grade will be primarily based on an open-materials final exam.

"Primarily" means that at least 95% of the course grade will be based on the final exam. Probably 100% of the course grade will be based on the final exam, but I want to have given notice of the possibility of a small percentage of the grade coming from other sources, most likely one or more small exercises.

Notwithstanding the above, my assessment of your in-class participation performance will not be a component of your grade.
Brief Description of Coverage: This class will meet in two 1.5 credit-hour blocks each week. The coverage goal is approximately twenty to thirty-five pages per block. Assignments will be detailed in the table below as the semester progresses.
 
Absences Limit: Assuming two class meetings a week, six or less absences constitutes attendance meeting the eighty percent requirement. More than six absences means that the eighty percent requirement is not met.
Attendance will be taken via a roll sheet passed throughout the class each session.
"Pick your seat" seating chart date: The second class session during the first week of class:
- Thursday, January 22, 2009.
 
Final Exam Date/Time: Thursday, May 14, 2009; 9 a.m. - noon
Final Exam Information: click here for the Final Exam page.
First day/week's assignment: Read this course web page, the linked Generally Applicable Syllabus Information, and the assignments detailed in the table below for the first day/week of class.
 
{reserved} {reserved}
Audio Recording of Class Sessions I will audio tape the class sessions using a portable recorder attached to my person and post links to the audio tracks on the class web site for the sole and limited educational purpose of allowing students to stream the recorded sessions to review or to enable students who missed a class to hear the class presentation. Any audio tracks created will be deleted and destroyed shortly after the final exam for the class. Since I call on students, there is a slight chance that your contributions to class discussion, whether voluntary or while on call, may be included in the audio recording. The chance is slight because the recording technology I use does a poor job of picking up any voices other than my own. Your continued registration in this class indicates your acquiescence to any such incidental recording for the purposes described above unless, if you have concerns about this, you come speak with me as soon as possible but in no event later than the first day of the second week of class.
Cancellation Day(s)

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
{perhaps one more}

Makeup(s) for Cancelled Day(s):

Friday, March 27, 2009 (same time and room)
Friday, April 10, 2009 (same time and room)

Contact Information and Office Hours

These are posted on my home page at:

www.law.uh.edu/faculty/gvetter/

Course Materials Links by Category

The links below are for general reference and may be used for some class assignments.

Patent Law

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Patent Page
  • Selected patent law sections from 35 U.S.C. xxx extracted from the U.S. PTO consolidated laws

Copyright Law

Course Coverage Table

The tables immediately below provide the detailed assignments for this course. It also may provide links to materials for each class and other items related to the course. In order to allow flexibility in the class, assignments beyond those posted for the next week are subject to change; therefore, students who may wish to read ahead are urged to contact the professor before doing so. The rate of progress through the modules depends on the class dynamics.

Class presentation slides are provided as links below in association with each module title. I will generally have the slides available a day or two before a class session. If students want hardcopy of the slides for use during class, please download and print the linked slides file.

After each class session, the class date will become a hyperlink to the audio for that class.

Case names are listed in the table below as assignments. Sometimes there are several paragraphs of introduction before the case when the case is the lead case in a new subheading in the book. These introductory paragraphs are part of the assignment and should be read along with the case.

The call group assignment list will be posted here for downloading as a .pdf file, with a password required to open the file. That password will be given out in class.

In the table each casebook assignment is given a page range to go with the assignment title. Unless the "Comment/Note" column indicates otherwise, read the entire assignment, encompassed on the indicated pages, including any notes or associated problems.

Module 1: Regulatory Paradigms for Electronic Commerce (slides) 1-63; 1257-1267
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Separatism - Barlow; Johnson & Post
1-7
Barlow; Johnson; Post
Tues., Jan. 20
All
Evolutionary - Goldsmith; Rothchild; Long
7-19
Goldsmith; Rothchild
Thurs., Jan. 22
All
Pluralist Regulation
19-32
UNIDROIT; UNICITRAL; MAPS RBL; ICANN watch; Yahoo! terms of service as of 3/21/2005; Lessig, What Cyberlaw Might Teach
Tues., Jan. 27
R
Appendix A
1257-1259
Regional Internet Registries
Activity Outside the Jurisdiction
32-37
Security Breach Notification State Legislation
ALA v. Pataki (SDNY.1997)
37-45
Tues., Feb. 3
L
State v. Heckel (Wash.2001)
45-53
Regulated Industries Online: Pharmacies; Telephony
53-63

Appendix B
1260-1267
 
Module 2: Commercial Identity Online and Trademarks (slides) 64-114; 135-156
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Trademark Law Basics
64-68
 
Thurs., Feb 5
L
Traditional Confusion - Playboy v. Universal Tel-A-Talk (E.D.Pa.1998)
68-74
Albert v. Spencer (SDNY.1998)
74-76
Tues., Feb. 10
R
Niton v. Radiation Monitoring Devices (D.Mass.1998)
77-81
Initial Interest Confusion - Brookfield v. West Coast (9th.1998)
82-87
Thurs., Feb 12
R
Playboy v. Netscape (9th.2004)
88-93
Gov't Employee Ins. Corp. v. Google (E.D.Va.2004)
93-96
Tues., Feb. 17
L
Bihari v. Gross (SDNY.2000)
96-104
1-800 Contacts v. WhenU.Com (2nd.2005)
104-115
stop at the end of page 115
Tues., Feb. 24
R
{skipping Chapter Two, Sec. III: trademark dilution cases}
Trademark Defenses - Fair Use - Brookfield v. West Coast (9th.1998)
135-136
Bihari v. Gross (SDNY.2000)
136-139
Nominative Use - Playboy v. Welles (9th.2002)
139-146
First Amendment - Planned Parenthood v. Bucci (SDNY.1997)
146-149
Thurs., Feb. 26
R
Bally v. Faber (C.D.Cal.1998)
149-152
Name.Space v. Network Solutions (2nd.2000)
152-155
Tues., Mar. 3
L
Taubman Co. v. Webfeats (6th.2003)
155-156
 
Module 3: Domain Names (slides) 157-180; 200-289
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Trademark Infringement and Domain Names - Lockheed Martin v. Network Solutions (9th.1999)
157-169
Skunkworks 
Green Products v. Independence Corn (N.D.Iowa.1997)
169-175
Cardservice Intl. v. McGee (E.D.Va.1997)
175-180
Cardservice Intl.
stop before "Trademark Dilution"
{skipping Chapter Three, Sec. II: trademark dilution cases}
AntiCyberSquatting Consumer Protection Act
200-205
n/a
Sporty's Farm v. Sportman's Market (2nd.2000)
205-213
Thurs., Mar. 5
L
Alitalia-Linee v. Casinoalitalia (E.D.Va.2001)
213-219
Electronics Boutique v. Zuccarini (E.D.Pa.2000)
219-223
Tues., Mar. 10
R
Extensions/Questions
223-231
GlobalSantaFe Corp. v. GlobalSantaFe.com (E.D.Va.2003)
231-243
Gripe Sites - Taubman Co. v. Webfeats (6th.2003)
243-247
Thurs., Mar. 12
{no audio, recorder lost, sorry!}
R
TMI v. Maxwell (5th.2004)
247-251
ICANN UDRP - Helfer & Dinwoodie
251-260
UDRP page; Helfer; Dinwoodie
n/a
Two example arbitration provisions: One and Two.
Madonna v. Parisi & "Madonna.com" (WIPO.2000)
260-267
Tues., Mar. 24
L
Weber-Stephen Prods. v. Armitage Hardware (N.D.Ill.2000)
267-269
Barcelona.com v. City of Barcelona (4th.2003)
269-275
Registering Domain Names
276-281
Registering Domain Names as Marks
281-286
In re Dial-A-Mattress (Fed.Cir.2001)
286-289
 
Module 4: Consumer Protection Online (slides) 291-325
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Consumer Protection Overview
290-293
Thurs., Mar. 26
L
Fraud Online
293-300
Trends in badware
n/a
StopBadWare
n/a
Read linked article to the left.
Ben Edelmen Internet Fraud research
Also of interest: Newsweek article on blogging and advertising
Agency Responses & Law Enforcement
300-302
McWhortle; history of RagingBull
Online Advertising Issues - Information Disclosures
302-313
FTC Dot Com disclosures
Other guidelines for disclosures: Investor Relations Best Practices Web Guidelines; Search Engine Watch
Applicability of Rules referencing writing
313-314
Amended Telemarketing Sales Rule; Do not email registry, report by FTC
Fri., Mar. 27
L
Blurring Advertising and Editorial Content
314-316
Online Sweepstakes
316
ESIGN and Consumer Issues
317-325
 
Module 5: Jurisdiction over Disputes in Internet Commerce (slides) 326-389
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Web sites - 3 categories - Zippo Manuf. v. Zippo Dot Com (W.D.Pa.1997)
326-335
 
Tues., Mar. 31
R
Cybersell, Inc. v. Cybersell, Inc. (9th.1997)
335-344
Effects of online activities - Panavision Int'l v. Toeppen (9th.1998)
344-348
Thurs., Apr. 2
R
Revell v. Lidov (5th.2002)
348-356
Entering into transactions - Compuserve v. Patterson (6th.1996)
356-366
Distribution of Publications Online
366-367
Tues., Apr. 7
L
Computer Eqpt. in the Forum State
368-369
Combined online/offline contacts
369-370
Foreign Defendants under FRCP 4(k)(2)
370-371
Long Arm Statutes - business within the state
371-373
Tortious injury within the state - Bensusan Rest. v. King (2nd.1997)
373-378
Regularly Soliciting Business in a State
378-379
Equipment Location as a Long Arm Factor
379-381
Choice of Law - Rothchild; Goldsmith
381-386
Thurs., Apr. 9
L
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
386-388
General Jurisdiction
388-389
 
Module 6: Privacy Online (slides) 390-456
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Privacy Protection - U.S.
390-395
 
Reidenberg
395-396
Tensions within Privacy
396-399
FTC - Fair Information Practices Principles
399-405
Fri., Apr. 10
L
Online Surveillance
405-411
Center for Democracy & Technology: Ghosts in our Machines report
Online Profiling
411-418
Uses and Abuses of Online Privacy Policies
418-422
State Law Requirements to Post a Privacy Policy
422-423
Security Breaches
423-424
New York Times article: Do We Need a New Internet?
Piercing Online Anonymity - Columbia Ins. v. Seescandy.com
424-432
AOL Civil Subpoena Policy; Center for Democracy & Technology: Digital Search and Seizure
Tues., Apr. 14
R
Models for Privacy - Self Regulation
432-435
3rd Party Certification
435-438
Technological Tools
438-441
the Anonymizer products; P3P Spec.; P3P example from spec.; P3P book; the TOR Project
The EC Directive & U.S. Safe Harbor
441-451
U.S. Department of Commerce's Safe Harbor Web site; EU Data Protection home page
Privacy Commodified? - Laudon
451-452
Litman
452-453
Radin
453-456
Radin
{skipping Chapter Six, Sec. VI: COPPA}
 
Module 7: Controlling Digital Goods: Copyright (slides) 460-469; 542-582 (music); 583-630 (2ndary liab.); 630-666
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Copyright Overview
460-469
stop before MAI Systems . . .
Thurs., Apr. 16
R
{skipping Chapter Seven, Sec. II & III: copyright in eCommerce and common internet activities}
Fundamentals of Digital Music Copyright - Reese
542-556
Reese; ASCAP web license
Tues., Apr. 21
L
Digital Reproduction of Music - UMG Recordings v. MP3.com (SDNY.2000)
556-559
Downloads - Reese
560-564
A&M Records v. Napster (9th.2001)
565-573
RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia (9th.1999)
573-582
Secondary Liability - ISPs - Religious Tech. Ctr. v. Netcom (ND.Cal.1995)
583-600
Thurs., Apr. 23
L
ISP Safe Harbors - Ellison v. Robertson (9th.2004)
601-606
Tues., Apr. 28
L
Ellison v. Robertson (CD.Cal.2002)
606-612
A&M Records v. Napster (ND.Cal.2000)
612-617
ALS Scan v. RemarQ Communities (4th.2001)
617-622
Hendrickson v. Amazon.com (CD.Cal.2003)
622-625
Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry (D.Utah.1999)
625-628
Thurs., Apr. 30
R
Perfect 10 v. CCBill (CD.Cal.2004)
629-630
Secondary Liability - Control over Technology - Sony Corp. v. Universial (1984)
630-643
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster (2005)
643-666
 
{end}
Module 8: n/a {reserved for chapter numbering to match module numbering}
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
n/a
{skipping Chapter Eight: databases} 
Module 9: Technological Protection of Digital Goods (slides) 700-790
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
{detailed assignments forthcoming}
 
 
Module 10: Contracting Online (slides) 791-904; 905-955 (IP in eCommerce)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
{detailed assignments forthcoming}
 
 
Module 11: n/a {reserved for chapter numbering to match module numbering}
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
n/a
{skipping Chapter Eleven: online business method patents}
Module 12: Electronic Intrusions (slides) 1012-1050 (spam); 1051-1072 (data); 1072-1090 (Hamidi)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
{detailed assignments forthcoming}
 
 
Module 13: ISP & Other Intermediaries Liability for Online Harm (slides) 1091-1146
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
{detailed assignments forthcoming}
 
 
Modules 14 to 16: n/a {reserved for chapter numbering to match module numbering}
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
n/a
{skipping Chapters 14 through 16}

Last modified on April 23, 2009, by Greg R. Vetter