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Governance of the Internet

Current Offerings

Governance of the Internet (4051): Internet platforms like Google and Facebook play an enormous role in our online speech and information environment today. This class will review the laws that shape platforms' decisions about online content, with a primary focus on intermediary liability laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Communications Decency Act Section 230 (CDA 230), and the EU's eCommerce Directive. The majority of course material will be from the U.S., but some will explore international models and in particular laws in the European Union. Some classes will explore the impact of related areas of law, including privacy law, and some will go beyond current legal models to explore forward-looking legislative and policy proposals. Important themes of the class include Constitutional and human rights constraints on intermediary liability laws; legal limits (or lack thereof) on platforms' enforcement of privatized speech rules under their Community Guidelines or Terms of Service; global enforcement of national laws requiring platforms to remove content; and tensions between the goals of intermediary liability law and those of privacy, competition, and other legal frameworks. Students will be encouraged to think pragmatically about the legal, operational, and product design choices platforms may make in response to particular laws, drawing on the instructor's experience handling such questions as Associate General Counsel at Google. Students will be responsible for (1) posting six reading response comments or questions to a class discussion board (these are due before class meets on six class days of your choice, they can be very brief and informal); (2) participating in class discussion, potentially including discussion of points raised in your written questions; and (3) completing a final examination. The course is open to law students and students in the Masters in International Policy (MIP) program. Thirty-five students will be admitted, with an effort made to have 25 students from the law school admitted by lottery (LAW 4051) and 10 from MIP admitted by instructor consent. MIP students may apply for consent to enroll in LAW.4051 by submitting a Non-Law Student Add Request Form available at https://law.stanford.edu/education/courses/non-law-students/ by September 10, 2021. Non-Law Student Add Request Forms received after the deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is full. The class meeting and examination dates will follow the law school calendar, available at https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-22-academic-calendar-FINAL.pdf. In admitting law students from the waitlist the instructor may prioritize based on students' degree programs. Three students may write a paper for R-credit in lieu of the final exam with consent of the instructor. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from the exam section (01) into paper section (02), with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation, mid-term, final exam or research paper. Cross-listed with Communication (COMM 363). Admitted non-law students wishing to enroll under the COMM 363 course number, should request a permission number from the instructors.

Sections

Governance of the Internet | LAW 4051 Section 01 Class #1102

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 25
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Exam:
    • Exam format to be determined
  • Exam:
      • Details to come
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
  • Course Category:
    • Intellectual Property & Technology
    • Public Law

Notes: Cross-listed with Communication (COMM 363).

  • 2023-2024 Winter ( )
  • Tue, Thu
  • Room: LAW 280A

Governance of the Internet | LAW 4051 Section 02 Class #1103

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Graduation Requirements:
    • R -Research Requirement for Law Degree
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
  • Course Category:
    • Intellectual Property & Technology

  • 2023-2024 Winter ( )
  • Tue, Thu

Past Offerings

Foundations of Internet Speech Platform Regulation (4051): Internet platforms like Google and Facebook play an enormous role in our online speech and information environment today. This class will review the laws that shape platforms' decisions about online content, with a primary focus on intermediary liability laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Communications Decency Act Section 230 (CDA 230), and the EU's eCommerce Directive. The majority of course material will be from the U.S., but some will explore international models and in particular laws in the European Union. Some classes will explore the impact of related areas of law, including privacy law, and some will go beyond current legal models to explore forward-looking legislative and policy proposals. Important themes of the class include Constitutional and human rights constraints on intermediary liability laws; legal limits (or lack thereof) on platforms' enforcement of privatized speech rules under their Community Guidelines or Terms of Service; global enforcement of national laws requiring platforms to remove content; and tensions between the goals of intermediary liability law and those of privacy, competition, and other legal frameworks. Students will be encouraged to think pragmatically about the legal, operational, and product design choices platforms may make in response to particular laws, drawing on the instructor's experience handling such questions as Associate General Counsel at Google. Students will be responsible for (1) posting six reading response comments or questions to a class discussion board (these are due before class meets on six class days of your choice, they can be very brief and informal); (2) participating in class discussion, potentially including discussion of points raised in your written questions; and (3) completing a final examination. The course is open to law students and students in the Masters in International Policy (MIP) program. Thirty-five students will be admitted, with an effort made to have 25 students from the law school admitted by lottery (LAW 4051) and 10 from MIP admitted by instructor consent. MIP students may apply for consent to enroll in LAW.4051 by submitting a Non-Law Student Add Request Form available at https://law.stanford.edu/education/courses/non-law-students/ by September 10, 2021. Non-Law Student Add Request Forms received after the deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is full. The class meeting and examination dates will follow the law school calendar, available at https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2021-22-academic-calendar-FINAL.pdf. In admitting law students from the waitlist the instructor may prioritize based on students' degree programs. Three students may write a paper for R-credit in lieu of the final exam with consent of the instructor. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from the exam section (01) into paper section (02), with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation, written assignments, final exam.

Sections

Foundations of Internet Speech Platform Regulation | LAW 4051 Section 01 Class #1076

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • 2021-2022 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 25
  • Exam:
    • Exam format to be determined
  • Exam:
      • Remote: Details to come
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
  • Course Category:
    • Intellectual Property & Technology

  • 2021-2022 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available

Foundations of Internet Speech Platform Regulation | LAW 4051 Section 02 Class #43319

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • 2021-2022 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent
  • Graduation Requirements:
    • R -Research Requirement for Law Degree
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO3 - Ability to Conduct Legal Research
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
  • Course Category:
    • Intellectual Property & Technology

  • 2021-2022 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available
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