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.

Upcoming Events

Andy Sellars and Chris Bavitz on BBA Copyright Panel

BBAHOT TOPICS IN COPYRIGHT LAW: CONTENT CREATION AND DISTRIBUTION AND THE PROSPECTS FOR COPYRIGHT REFORM | Boston Bar Association, Boston, MA | June 10, 2015 | Clinical Fellow Andy Sellars and the Clinic’s Managing Director, Chris Bavitz, will join Dave Herlihy of Herlihy Law and Northeastern University for a conversation about copyright law hosted by the Boston Bar Association‘s Art, Entertainment and Sports Law Committee. The panel discussion will focus on the state of copyright law, existing legal regimes governing the creation and distribution of content, and the prospects for copyright reform. The panelists will focus their attention on music, talking about protections for musical compositions and sound recordings, compulsory vs. market-based approaches to licensing, the roles of various institutional players in the music industry (including publishers, labels, and performance rights organizations), and the scope of the fair use doctrine. The panel will also address broader concerns in the copyright and content licensing landscape, including questions about the nature of authorship and transformative works in the visual arts context.

University of Geneva Internet L@w Summer School (2015)

2015_internet_lawUNIVERSITY OF GENEVA INTERNET L@W SUMMER SCHOOL | University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland | June 15, 2015 – June 26, 2015 | Cyberlaw Clinic Managing Director Chris Bavitz will join a number of internationally-renowned experts on law and technology for the second consecutive year of the University of Geneva’s Internet L@w Summer School, in Geneva Switzerland, June 15, 2015 – June 26, 2015. Course Academic Director, Professor Jacques de Werra of University of Geneva will again lead a fantastic program that includes discussions of intellectual property, surveillance, competition law, and Internet jurisdiction (among many other topics).  Chris will run sessions focused on practical aspects of cyberlaw and strategic considerations that arise when litigating Internet disputes and a session dedicated to the sale and licensing of content online.  The program includes a number of people from within the Berkman Center orbit, including Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher (talking about “IP and the Future of Entertainment”); Berkman Fellows Neal Cohen, Primavera De Filipi, Camille François, and Kate Darling (directing a session on X); and Professor de Werra himself (who was in residence at Berkman during the 2012-13 academic year).

From the Blog

DOJ Releases Patriot Act Report following Clinic FOIA Request

Audit CoverThe Cyberlaw Clinic is pleased to report that earlier today the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released its internal audit of the FBI’s use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act from 2007–2009. Release of the Inspector General report comes soon after the Clinic prepared a FOIA request seeking a copy of the report, on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

9th Circuit Rules in Garcia, Andy Sellars Offers Analysis in BetaBoston

BBThe Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited en banc opinion in the case, Garcia v. Google, this week, and the decision is generally a big win for advocates of free speech.  A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit had previously enjoined YouTube from hosting the controversial Innocence of Muslims video, which received worldwide attention in September 2012 for its disparaging remarks about the Prophet Mohammed. Plaintiff Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress who appeared in Innocence of Muslims, claimed a copyright interest in the film based on her performance and used that purported copyright as grounds to demand YouTube remove the video.


Legal and Ethical Issues in the Use of Telepresence Robots

WeRobotPaperCoverLEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE USE OF TELEPRESENCE ROBOTS: BEST PRACTICES AND TOOLKIT (WORKING DRAFT) | March 27, 205 | Spring 2015 Cyberlaw Clinic students Jack Xu and Cecillia Xie teamed up with the Clinic’s Managing Director, Chris Bavitz, and J. Nathan Matias and Chelsea Barabas of the MIT Center for Civic Media to prepare a working draft paper entitled “Legal and Ethical Issues in the Use of Telepresence Robots:  Best Practices and Toolkit.” The paper was submitted for discussion at the WeRobot 2015 conference held April 10 – 11, 2015 at University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, where Cecillia, Jack, Chris, and Chelsea joined discussant Laurel Riek of Notre Dame for a panel discussion. The working draft builds on work the Clinic did with Nate and Chelsea in connection with their “People’s Bot” project and lays the groundwork for development a broader toolkit examining privacy and related concerns that arise in connection with the use of telepresence robots.