Internet Law
by Tom W. Bell

Ch. 01: Course Management


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Table of Contents

Ch.  Subject
01:  Course Management
    A.  Description
    B.  Requirements
    C.  Grading
    D.  Contact
    E.  Assignments

02:  Introduction
03:  "Law" Online
04:  Free Speech
05:  Privacy
06:  Trespass to Chattels
07:  Intellectual Property
08:  Encryption
09:  Hacking
10:  Commerce
11:  Jurisdiction
12:  Lawyers Online
13:  Review

A. Description and Objectives of Course

This course explores the legal issues arising out of the internet's growing role as a personal, commercial, and public forum. Topics will include internet regulation policy, free speech issues, enforcement of intellectual property rights, jurisdictional puzzles, encryption, and internet commerce. This class should also help to polish your legal reasoning skills and introduce you to some of the practical and ethical concerns of a working attorney.


Bell's Class #1: Please read this chapter and Chapter 02.


B. Requirements for Course

This course has no prerequisites. You need no technical expertise beyond knowing how to use email and the World Wide Web. You will need an email account and web access, of course, both of which the law school provides. You will also need to sign up for the class listserve. Details on how to do that will follow later.




C. Grading

Ninety percent of your grade will come from either a comprehensive, three-hour, open-book final exam or a written paper. You may choose between those two options at any point prior to the final exam. The exam option needs little explanation; the paper one does.

If you choose the paper option, your paper must have at least 25 standard pages of substantive writing. It will satisfy the school's writing requirement only if earns above a 1.7 grade. You must submit the following materials by the stated deadlines: Proposed topic by 5 p.m., September 21; outline by 5 p.m., October 14; rough draft by 5 p.m., November 16; final draft by 5 p.m., December 16. You will lose .1 grade points for each day you miss any of those deadlines. Each topic must win my approval. Please communicate with me regarding your writing project only anonymously or pseudonymously, using either hardcopy documents, communications through my secretary, or an appropriate email account.

Participation will count for 10% of your course grade. You can earn one participation point per class by signing a sheet indicating your readiness to discuss the readings if I call on you, and various points for any ungraded quizzes or projects I offer. You may lose some or all of the points allowed for classroom discussion if you sign up to speak but demonstrate lack of preparation.




D. Contact Information

I encourage you to contact me if you have questions or comments about what we discuss in class or about law school in general. You can find me in my office, room 438, each Wednesday and Friday, from 9:30 until 10 a.m., 11:30 until noon, and 2:15 until 4:15 p.m. My "office hours" include a brown-bag lunch in the student lounge each Friday from 11:30 until noon. I welcome you to drop by and chat at those times or at other times by appointment. You can also call me at 714/628-2503 or email me at the address I give you in class. At you can find this syllabus and other course materials. At you can find similar materials from Internet Law courses I have taught in prior years.

E. Assignments

Before each class, please read the assigned materials, all or most of which you can find by following links in the online syllabus. Like a working attorney, you will often have to exercise discretion as to which parts of a case or statute merit especially close attention. Where specifically directed to do so, you should likewise selectively browse through assigned web sites with an eye to the issues at hand. Take care to read any online notes appended to your reading assignments and to answer any questions that appear in those notes.

Please note that while I will make a good faith effort to follow this syllabus, I reserve the right to change it during the semester.




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(C) 2000-05 Tom W. Bell. All rights reserved. Fully attributed noncommercial use of this document permitted if accompanied by this paragraph. - v.2005.08.23