About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate clients on issues relating to the Internet, technology, and intellectual property. Students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit by working on real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, and transactional / licensing projects and cases. The Clinic strives to help clients achieve success in their activities online, mindful of (and in response to) existing law. The Clinic also works with clients to shape the law’s development through policy and advocacy efforts. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. The Clinic works independently, with law students supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys.  In some cases, the Clinic collaborates with counsel throughout the country to take advantage of regional or substantive legal expertise.

From the Blog

Clinic Teams w/WGBH to Support Boston TV News Digital Library

The Cyberlaw Clinic has teamed up with WGBH to support the extraordinary Boston TV News Digital Library project.  The project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Council on Library and Information Resources, is a collaboration among the Boston Public Library, Cambridge Community Television, Northeast Historic Film and WGBH Educational Foundation that aims to bring to life local news stories produced in and about Boston from the early 1960’s to 2000.  The Clinic’s work with WGBH has focused on offering guidance to news media archivists on legal issues associated with archiving news content.

Third Circuit Vacates Andrew Auernheimer’s CFAA Conviction

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that defendant Andrew Auernheimer’s conviction for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act rested on an incorrect determination by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey that venue was proper in that district.  The Court of Appeals vacated Auernheimer’s conviction. The Cyberlaw Clinic submitted an amicus brief in support of Auernheimer, on behalf of the Digital Media Law Project.

Upcoming Events

University of Geneva Internet L@w Summer School

Cyberlaw Clinic Managing Director Chris Bavitz will join a number of internationally-renowned experts on law and technology for the University of Geneva’s Internet L@w summer school June 16th – 24th.  The Course Directors, Professor Jacques de Werra of University of Geneva and Dr. Thomas Schultz of King’s College London, have put together a phenomenal program that will include discussions of intellectual property, freedom of expression, and Internet governance (among many other topics).  Chris’s sessions will focus on practical aspects of cyberlaw and strategic considerations that arise when litigating Internet disputes.  The program includes a number of people from within the Berkman Center orbit, including the Center’s Faculty Director Terry Fisher (talking about “IP and the Future of Entertainment”), former Fellow Dr. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay (on the subject of “Creative Commons and Open Culture in the Digital Age: Legal Features and Challenges”), and Professor de Werra himself (who was in residence at Berkman during the 2012-13 academic year and remains a Faculty Associate).

Featured

Seaton v. TripAdvisor

SEATON v. TRIPADVISOR  |  Docket No. 12-6122  |  6th Cir. February 27, 2013 |  The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this amicus curiae brief (pdf) on behalf of the Digital Media Law Project, asking the Sixth Circuit to make clear that website operators that aggregate citizen reports and rely on that data to draw conclusions cannot be liable for defamation based on those conclusions. The case concerns TripAdvisor’s 2011 “Dirtiest Hotels in America” list, which was based on travelers’ ratings for cleanliness on TripAdvisor. The proprietor of the hotel identified as the dirtiest in America sued TripAdvisor for defamation and false light, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted TripAdvisor’s motion to dismiss the claim. In support of TripAdvisor on appeal, the DMLP argued that opinions based on disclosed facts are not defamation under Tennessee law and that protecting such opinions is consistent with the goals of the First Amendment. By disclosing the reviews on which it relied, TripAdvisor enabled its readers to independently assess the rankings, subjecting its conclusions to the marketplace of ideas rather than the courts.

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