Cyberspace Law (Law 5793)

Eric Goldman and Chuck Schwab

Santa Clara University School of Law

Spring 2001


1.                  Sessions.  The class meets on Monday nights from 7:30 to 9:10, except that the class will meet on Tuesday night on February 20.  The first class meets on January 8 and the last class meets on April 23.  Pursuant to University regulations, the class will not meet on January 15 (Martin Luther King birthday), February 19 (President’s Day), or February 26 (Spring break).


2.                  Prerequisites.  This class is a general survey class and thus has no has no prerequisites other than the completion of first year courses.  You also need to have some experience using the Internet.


3.                  Curriculum Overlaps.  This class has significant overlaps with both Internet Law and E-Commerce Law, and we discourage you from taking this class if you’ve taken or will take those classes.  There are also some overlaps with classes such as, Davis/Boustani’s computer law course, and Digital Property, although students have rarely found such overlaps problematic.


4.                  Final Exam.  The final exam will be on April 28 at 2:30.  The class is graded solely on the final exam; historically, there have been 1/3 As and 10% Cs.  The final exam will probably be 1½ hours long with 2 questions.  The exam is very practice-oriented and will emphasize your problem-solving skills.  You are strongly encouraged to review the prior years’ exams to understand the exam structure.  You can find the prior years’ exams on the Web (note the law may have changed in the interim!):


Year   Exam                                                                                          Sample Answer






5.                  Papers.  A paper is not required as part of the class.  However, we will be happy to assist you with your papers on an informal basis.  Suggested paper topics are available at  Additional paper resources are available from the list of cyberspace law resources at


Historically, acting as a faculty advisor for independent study has been very unsatisfying because students tend to do the minimum (despite their unanimous initial insistence to the contrary).  If you want one of us to act as your faculty advisor, you will need to follow these rules:


·        We will each take no more than 3 students

·        All requests must be made by January 12, 2001—NO EXCEPTIONS

·        With your request, you must submit a schedule of deliverables.  Failure to honor this schedule will create significant tension

·        You must handle all aspects of administrative compliance and paperwork

·        You must be using the paper to fulfill the High Tech certificate or scheduled to publish the paper


6.                  Email List.  The class has an official email list for class announcements, timely messages and occasional random postings.  Subscribe to the list at  Note that theglobe requires you to opt out of their mailing lists if you don’t want their spam—you can configure this at any time, but opt out when you sign up to minimize confusion.


The list is unmoderated, so you are free to post yourself—please do so wisely.  Post to  DO NOT SEND SUBCRIPTION MESSAGES OR PERSONAL MESSAGES TO THE LIST!!!  List archives and account management are available at


7.                  High Tech Certificate.  The class is approved for credit towards the High Technology Law Certificate.


8.                  Office Hours.  We do not hold on-campus office hours, but we are free to meet with you at our offices or otherwise by appointment.  We are also always available by email for answer questions; however, we may take a few days to do so.


9.                  Academic Freedom.  The class necessarily requires us to discuss the full range of human behavior.  If you have any concerns about topic coverage, you should see one of us immediately.


10.              Jobs.  Eric can consult with you about your job searching efforts.  He can provide you with the most help in the early part of the semester.  If you want his help, email him your resume (in the text of the email, not as an attachment) and he’ll schedule a time to meet.


11.              Contact Information.


Eric Goldman

Epinions, Inc.

8000 Marina Blvd., 5th floor

Brisbane, CA  94005

Phone: (650) 616-6536

Fax: (650) 616-6510

Driving directions: 101N to Sierra Point Parkway.  Turn right.  8000 Marina Blvd. is the 8 story building behind Hitachi.

Chuck Schwab

Cooley Godward LLP

Mailing: 5 Palo Alto Sq., Palo Alto, CA  94306

Physical: 3175 Hanover, Palo Alto, CA 94043

Phone: (650) 843-5347

Fax: (650) 849-7400

Driving directions: 101 to Oregon Expressway, head west past El Camino, left on Hanover, left at the curve in Hanover


More materials, including an electronic copy of this syllabus, are available at 



The class reader is the only required reading (except for any materials distributed during the semester).  There are a number of supplementary books and treatises available on the market; all of them are out of date to some degree.  If you want a supplemental reader, please contact us and we will work with you.


1.                  Introduction to Cyberspace (January 8 and 22) [Eric/Chuck]


Topics: Internet technologies, Internet business models, the Commerce Clause and state action


ACLU v. Reno (CDA I district court ruling; facts only)                                                              page 5


2.                  Jurisdiction and Venue (January 29) [Chuck]


Millennium Enterprises v. Millennium Music                                                                              page 27


3.                  Contracts (February 5) [Eric/Chuck]


Topics: Clickthrough Agreements, UCITA, UETA/E-Sign


Electronic Signatures in Global & National Commerce Act                                                        page 47

Hill v. Gateway 2000                                                                                                               page 55

Klocek v. Gateway, Inc.                                                                                                          page 58


4.                  Copyrights, Trespass and the Protection of Factual Data (February 12 and 20) [Eric/Chuck]


Topics: Linking, Framing, Scraping, Caching, Circumvention


17 USC §512                                                                                                                          page 68

eBay v. Bidder’s Edge                                                                                                             page 78

TicketMaster v.                                                                                                    page 93

Kelly v. Arriba Software                                                                                                          page 96

UMG Recordings v. (5/4/00 ruling)                                                                        page 112


5.                  Trademarks/Domain Names (March 5 and 12) [Eric]


Topics: Domain Names Squatting and Reverse Hijacking, Metatags, Keyword Advertising


Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act                                                                          page 117

ICANN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (and associated rules)                                 page 132

Avery Dennison v. Sumpton (9th Circuit)                                                                                 page 150


6.                  Privacy (March 19) [Eric/Chuck]


Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act                                                                                page 164

16 CFR Part 312 (implementing COPPA)                                                                              page 171

Internet Privacy Policies handout                                                                                            page 185

In re Toysmart Stipulation and Order Establishing Conditions

            on Sale of Customer Information                                                                                page 187


7.                  Porn (March 26) [Eric]


Topics: Obscenity, Child Pornography, “Indecent” Speech, “Harmful to Minors” Speech


ACLU v. Reno (Supreme Court)                                                                                            page 192


8.                  Selected Information Torts (April 2) [Chuck]


Topics: CFAA, Spam, Defamation, Publicity/Privacy Rights, Harmful/Inaccurate Information


18 USC §1030                                                                                                                      page 219

AOL v. Christian Brothers                                                                                                      page 224


9.                  Intermediary Liability for User Content/Actions (April 9 and 16) [Eric]


17 USC §512                                                                                                                          page 68

47 USC §230                                                                                                                        page 247

Cooley Godward Alert on Website Provider Liability for User Content & Actions                   page 250

Zeran v. America Online (4th Circuit)                                                                                      page 254

Stoner v. eBay                                                                                                                       page 262

A&M Records v. Napster (Ninth circuit ruling) [ruling is not available at press time;

            case will be distributed electronically during the semester]

Lockheed Martin v. Network Solutions (9th Circuit)                                                                page 270


10.                          ECPA and Catch-Up (April 23) [Chuck]


Topics: ECPA



Note: Most of the cases and statutes above are available from  Articles are available from