Cyberspace Law

Professor Eric Schlachter

Santa Clara University School of Law

Spring 1997



††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MECHANICS


1.†††††††† Class Meetings.The course meets Thursdays from 7:45 to 9:25 in Bannan Hall Room 137.The first class meets January 16 and the last class meets April 24.There will be no class on March 6.The final exam will be May 3.

2.†††††††† Prerequisites.There are no prerequisites other than the first year courses.Prior background in copyright law will make the Intellectual Property section easier to understand.A understanding of First Amendment law would also be helpful.If you do not have prior online experience, you will need to spend significant time during the semester to obtain online experience.

3.†††††††† Grading.The course will be graded solely on the final exam.The final exam will be between 2 and 2.5 hours long and will consist of 2 or 3 questions.The exam will emphasize real life situations and problems.Last yearís final exam and a high scoring answer are included in the reader.

4.†††††††† Papers.I would be happy to facilitate your self-initiated papers and articles, within the parameters of my time constraints and University regulations.I have included a list of possible topics in the reader.

5.†††††††† Email.Any student who has not already done so should obtain an email account.I will attempt to establish a course email list for class discussions.You are encouraged to actively participate in the list.I reserve the right to make participation in the email list a precondition to passing the course.

6.†††††††† Professor Contact Information.

Eric Schlachter

Cooley Godward LLP

5 Palo Alto Square

3000 El Camino Real

Palo Alto, CA94306

(415) 843-5154 (direct)

(415) 857-0663 (fax)



Required: Course reader.

Recommended: Lance Rose, NetLaw (1995).

Worth a Look: Thomas Smedinghoff, Ed., Online Law: The SPAís Legal Guide to Doing Business on the Internet (1996).




1.†††††††† Introduction to Cyberspace. (January 16 to 23)

ACLU v. Reno,929 F. Supp. 824 (E.D. Pa. June 11, 1996), points 1-123.p. 7.

Shea v. Reno, 930 F. Supp. 916 (S.D.N.Y. July 29, 1996), Findings of Fact.p. 29.

Kevin Savetz, The Mystery of Misc.misc, Internet World, August 1996 at 82.p. 38.


Eric Schlachter, Generating Revenues from Websites, Boardwatch, July 1995.p. 39.

Rosalind Resnick, AdTech Ď96: Is Banner Advertising Dead?, Interactive Publishing Alert, July 1, 1996.p. 46.

Hunter Madsen, Reclaim the Deadzone, Wired, December 1996 at 206.p. 49.


2.†††††††† Online Transactions and Contracts. (January 30)

ProCD v. Zeidenberg, 89 F.3d 1257 (7th Cir. 1996).p. 54.

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld, The Buck Starts Here, Wired, August 1996 at 132.p. 61.


Cross reference: CompuServe v. Patterson, Daniel v. Dow Jones, Tierney and Email America.


3.†††††††† Jurisdiction and Venue. (January 30 and February 6)

Minnesota Office of the Attorney General, Memorandum regarding Internet Jurisdiction (July 1995).p. 69.

Inset Systems, Inc. v. Instructional Set, Inc., 937 F. Supp. 16 (D. Conn. April 17, 1996).p. 73.

CompuServe, Incorporated v. Patterson, 1996 FED App. 0228P (6th Cir. July 22, 1996).p. 79.

Maritz, Inc. v. CyberGold, Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14978 (E.D. Mo. August 19, 1996).p. 90.

Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 937 F. Supp. 295 (S.D.N.Y. September 9, 1996).p. 99.

Panavision International, L.P. v. Toeppen, 938 F. Supp. 616 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 19, 1996).p. 106.

Edias Software International LLC v. Basis International Ltd., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18279 (D. Az. Nov. 19, 1996).p. 113.


US v. Thomas, 1996 FED App. 0032P (6th Cir. 1996).p. 124.

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Chuckleberry Publishing, Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8435 (S.D.N.Y. June 19, 1996).p. 132.



Pres-Kap, Inc. v. System One, Direct Access, Inc., 636 So.2d 1351 (Fla. App. 1994).p. 142.

Krantz v. Air Line Pilot Association, 245 Va. 202 (1993) [not in reader].

California Software Inc. v. Reliability Research, Inc., 631 F. Supp. 1356 (C.D. Cal. 1986) [not in reader].


4.†††††††† Online Information Torts.(February 13)


Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc., 472 U.S. 749 (1985).p. 145.

Itís In the Cards v. Fuschetto, 535 N.W.2d 11 (Wis. Ct. App. 1995).p. 156.

Suggested: Rindos v. Hardwick, no. 1994 of 1993 (W. Austrl. Sup. Ct. March 31, 1994) [not in reader].


Cross reference: Edias Software v. Basis, Krantz v. Air Line Pilots, Cubby v. CompuServe, Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy.


Rights of Publicity/Privacy

Stern v. Delphi, 626 N.Y.S.2d 694 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1995).p. 159.

Complaint in Louder v. CompuServe, California Superior Court (July 5, 1996).p. 166.


Dissemination of Inaccurate Information

Daniel v. Dow Jones & Co., 520 N.Y.S. 2d 334 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 1987).p. 174.



[*] U.S. v. Baker, 890 F. Supp. 1375 (E.D. Mich. 1995).p. 180.

Suggested: Internet America Inc. v. Massey (Tex. Dallas County Dist. Ct. Oct. 14, 1996).p. 191.


5.†††††††† Obscenity, Pornography and Child Pornography. (February 20)

NetLaw, Chapter 8.


Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973).p. 194.

Stanley v. Georgia, 399 U.S. 557 (1969).p. 201.

[*] F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978).p. 206.

Sable Communications of California, Inc. v. F.C.C., 492 U.S. 115 (1989).p. 229.

Communications Decency Act of 1995.p. 238.

ACLU v. Reno,929 F. Supp. 824 (E.D. Pa. June 11, 1996), Conclusions of Law.p. 245.

Shea v. Reno, 930 F. Supp. 916 (S.D.N.Y. July 29, 1996).p. 286.


Cross reference: US v. Thomas, Smith v. California, US v. Baker.



US v. Maxwell, 42 M.J. 568 (U.S. Air Force Ct. Crim. App. April 28, 1995) [not in reader].

Regina v. Pecciarich, 22 O.R. (3d) 748 (Ontario Ct. Provincial Division April 6, 1995) [not in reader].

US v. Chapman, 60 F.3d 894 (1st Cir. 1995) [not in reader].

NetLaw, Appendices G and H.


6.†††††††† Trademarks and Domain Names. (February 27)

Dan L. Burk, Trademarks on the Infobahn: A First Look at the Emerging Law of Cybermarks, Richmond Journal of Law & Technology, Volume 1, Issue 1 (1995).p. 310.

NSI Domain Name Dispute Policy (September 1996).p. 329.

Robert Cannon, NSI Implements New Internet Domain Name Policy, FCBA News, November 1996.p. 334.

Intermatic Inc. v. Toeppen, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14878 (N.D. Ill. October 3, 1996).p. 337.

Hasbro v. Internet Entertainment Group, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11626 (W.D. Wash. February 9, 1996).p. 354.

Comp Examiner Agency v. Juris, 1996 WL 376600 (C.D. Cal. April 26, 1996).p.356.

Actmedia, Inc. v. Active Media Intíl, Inc., 1996 WL 399707 (N.D. Ill. July 12, 1996).p. 358.

American Standard v. Toeppen, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14451 (C.D. Ill. Sept. 3, 1996).p. 360.

Toys ĎRí Us v. Akkaoui, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17090 (N.D. Cal. October 29, 1996).p. 362.


Suggested: MTV Networks v. Curry, 867 F. Supp. 202 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).p. 368.


Cross reference: Inset v. Instructional Set, CompuServe v. Patterson, Maritz v. CyberGold, Bensusan v. King, Panavision v. Toeppen, Playboy v. Chuckleberry Publishing.


7.†††††††† Copyright, Trade Secrets and Patents. (March 13 to 20)

Scheduled guest speaker on March 13: Neil A. Smith, Limbach & Limbach.

NetLaw, Chapter 3.


17 U.S.C. ß106, 107.p. 375.

Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984).p. 377.

Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Company, 499 U.S. 340 (1991).p. 394.

Religious Technology Center v. F.A.C.T.Net, 901 F. Supp. 1519 (D. Colo. September 15, 1995).p. 406.

U.S. v. LaMacchia, 871 F. Supp. 535 (D. Mass. 1994).p. 414.

Suggested: The Shetland Times Ltd. v. Wills, Court of Sessions, Edinburgh, October 24, 1996.p. 425.


John Perry Barlow, Selling Wine Without Bottles: the Economy of Mind on the Global Net (a.k.a. The Economy of Ideas), Wired, March 1994 at 85.p. 429.

Esther Dyson, Intellectual Value, Wired, July 1995 at 136.p. 444.

Lance Rose, The Emperorís Clothes Still Fit Just Fine, Wired, February 1995 at 103.p. 452.

Eric Schlachter, Cache-22, Intellectual Property Magazine, Summer 1996.p. 456.



Terry Carroll, Copyright FAQ (see [not in reader].

IITF White Paper (September 1995) (gopher:// [not in reader].


Cross reference: Playboy v. Frena, Sega v. MAPHIA, Religious Technology Center v. Netcom, Scientology v. Providers.


8.†††††††† Access, Editorial Control and Sysop Liability. (March 27 and April 3)

Scheduled Guest Speaker on April 3: Lisa Gerhauser, General Counsel, HotWired


NetLaw, Chapters 1 and 4.

Eric Schlachter, Electronic Networks and Computer Bulletin Boards: Developing a Legal Regime to Fit the Technology (Spring 1994).p. 461.


Smith v. California, 361 U.S. 147 (1959).p. 466.

Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974).p. 475.

Cross reference: FCC v. Pacifica, Sable v FCC.


Cubby v. CompuServe, 776 F. Supp. 135 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).p. 485.

Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, 1995 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 229 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995).p. 494.

Communications Decency Act, Section 230 Legislative Findings.p. 500.

Cross reference: Itís In the Cards v. Fuschetto.


Playboy Enterprises v. Frena, 839 F. Supp. 1552 (M.D. Fla. 1993).p. 501.

Sega Enterprises Ltd. v. MAPHIA, 857 F. Supp. 679 (N.D. Cal. 1994).p. 511.

Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. November 21, 1995).p. 522.

Suggested: Scientology v. Providers, District Court of the Hague (March 12, 1996).p. 543.

Cross reference: US v. LaMacchia.


Cyber Promotions, Inc. v. America Online, Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16237 (E.D. Pa. November 4, 1996).p. 549.



Eric Schlachter, Cyberspace, the Free Market and the Free Marketplace of Ideas: Recognizing Legal Differences in Computer Bulletin Board Functions, 16 Hastings COMM/ENT 87 (1993) (see†† [Not in reader].


9.†††††††† Anonymity and Spam. (April 10)

McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 115 S. Ct. 1511 (1995).p. 560.

Georgia H.B. No. 1630.p. 566.


Lance Rose, Anonymity Online: Its Value, and Its Social Costs, Boardwatch, June 1995 at 100.p. 569.


Concentric Network Corp., Inc. v. Wallace (N.D. Cal. November 4, 1996) (Declaration).p. 574.

CompuServe Incorporated v. Cyber Promotions, Inc. (S.D. Ohio, October 24, 1996) (TRO).p. 576.

Suggested: Tierney and Email America, Virtual Magistrate Project Docket No. 96-0001 (May 20, 1996).p. 578.


Cross reference: Cyber Promo v. AOL.


10.†††††† ECPA and Computer Crimes. (April 17)

NetLaw, Chapters 5, 6 and 7.

Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. U.S. Secret Service, 816 F. Supp. 432 (W.D. Texas 1993).p. 581.

Affirmed 36 F.3d 457 (5th Cir. 1994).p. 591.

18 U.S.C. ß1030.p. 600.

U.S. v. Morris, 928 F.2d 504 (2d Cir. 1991).p. 605.

U.S. v. Riggs, 743 F. Supp. 556 (N.D. Ill. 1990).p. 613.



NetLaw, Appendices B, D and E.


11.†††††† Other Resources.

Spring 1996 Exam with Sample Answer and High Scoring Answer.p. 618.

Cyberspace Legal Topics (October 1996).p. 643.

Web Hosting Agreement (Provider-oriented) (November 1995).p. 649.

Web Hosting Agreement (Customer-oriented) (September 1996).p. 655.

Web Advertising Agreement (May 1996).p. 663.

Smiley Dictionary.p. 671.