Cyberspace Law (Law 5793)

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University School of Law

Spring 2002


1.                              Sessions.  The class meets Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 9:10 from January 8 to April 23, excluding February 19 (President’s Day) and March 5 (Spring Break).


2.                              Prerequisites.  This class is a general survey class.  Thus, the only prerequisites are the completion of first year courses and some experience using the Internet.


3.                              Curriculum Overlaps.  This class has significant overlaps with both Internet Law and E-Commerce Law, and I discourage you from taking this class if you’ve taken or will take either of those classes.  The class also partially overlaps Digital, Computer Law Seminar (Davis/Boustani), and Digital Property, although students rarely find such overlaps problematic.


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


5.                              Final Exam.  The final exam will be on May 2 at 6:00 pm.  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 and sample answers at my website (note the law may have changed in the interim).


6.                              Casebook.  The class reader is the only required reading (except for any materials I distribute during the semester).  If you want additional reading, a number of supplementary books and treatises are available.  I can guide you in selecting one of those readers if you want.


7.                              Papers.  A paper is not required as part of the class.  However, I 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 my cyberspace law resources list at  If you want me to act as your faculty advisor, please note the following:


·        I can take no more than 3 students

·        All requests must be made by January 18, 2001—NO EXCEPTIONS

·        With your request, submit a schedule of deliverables.  You should adhere faithfully to this schedule

·        You must handle all administrative compliance and paperwork

·        You must use the paper to fulfill the High Tech certificate or plan to publish the paper


8.                              Email List.  The class has an email list for announcements and other messages.  I maintain the list using the email addresses provided to me by the Records Office.  If you want to change your email address, please let me know.


9.                              Office Hours.  I don’t have regularly scheduled on-campus office hours, but I can meet with you at my offices or otherwise by appointment.  I am also always available by email to answer questions; however, in particularly busy times, I may take a few days to reply.


10.                          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 me ASAP.


11.                          Jobs.  I can consult with you about your job searching efforts.  I can be most helpful in the early part of the semester.  If you want my help, email me your resume (in the text of the email, not as an attachment) and some proposed times you might be able to meet me at my office.


12.                          Contact Information.


Eric Goldman

Epinions, Inc.

8000 Marina Blvd., 5th floor

Brisbane, CA  94005

Phone: (650) 616-6536

Fax: (650) 532-1269 x1379

Driving directions from Santa Clara: 101N to Sierra Point Parkway.  Turn right.  8000 Marina Blvd. is the 8 story building behind Hitachi.  Come to the 5th floor.


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



1.                  Introduction to Cyberspace (January 8 and 15)


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


ACLU v. Reno (CDA I District Ct. facts only)                                                                           page 5           

La Ligue Contre le Racisme et l’Antisemitisme v. Yahoo (Paris County Ct. Nov. 2000)                     25

Yahoo v. La Ligue Contre le Racisme et l’Antisemitisme (US Nov. 2001)                                         46

State v. Heckel (Washington Supreme Ct.)                                                                                       57


2.                  Jurisdiction and Venue (January 22)




Millennium Enterprises v. Millennium Music (Jan. 1999)                                                                    67           


3.                  Contracts (January 29)


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


15 USC §§7001-7006 (exclude §7005)                                                                                           86           

Hill v. Gateway 2000 (7th Cir.)                                                                                                         92

Specht v. Netscape Communications (July 2001)                                                                              95


4.                  Copyrights, Trespass and Protecting Factual Data (February 5 and 12)


Topics: Linking, Framing, Scraping, Caching, Circumvention


17 USC §512                                                                                                                                116

eBay v. Bidder’s Edge (May 2000)                                                                                                133

Ticketmaster v. (Aug. 2000)                                                                                       147 v. Verio (Dec. 2000)                                                                                                 152

Intel v. Hamidi (Cal. Ct. App.)                                                                                                        167

Kelly v. Arriba Software (Dec. 1999)                                                                                             185

Universal City Studios v. Corley (2nd Cir.)                                                                                       192


5.                  Trademarks/Domain Names (February 26 and March 12)


Topics: Trademarks, Domain Names, Metatags and Keywords


15 USC §§1125, 1129                                                                                                                  219

California Business & Professions Code §§17525-17528                                                               227

ICANN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (and associated rules)                                         229

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Doughney (4th Cir.)                                                  247

Avery Dennison v. Sumpton (9th Cir.)                                                                                             254


6.                  Privacy (March 19)


15 USC §§6501-6504                                                                                                         page 267

16 CFR Part 312 (implementing COPPA)                                                                                      282

Internet Privacy Policies handout                                                                                                     296


7.                  Pornography (March 26)


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


Eric Goldman’s Helpful Hints to Knowing Your Porn Terms                                                            298

ACLU v. Reno (Sup. Ct. 1997)                                                                                                     299


8.                  Selected Information Torts (April 2)


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


18 USC §1030                                                                                                                              326

Reread Heckel, and Hamidi


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


Reread 17 USC §512                                                                                                                         

47 USC §230                                                                                                                                334

15 USC §1114                                                                                                                              338

Zeran v. America Online (4th Cir.)                                                                                                   342

Schneider v. (Wash. Ct. App.)                                                                                  350

A&M Records v. Napster (9th Cir.)                                                                                                357

ALS Scan v. RemarQ Communities (4th Cir.)                                                                                  374

Hendrickson v. eBay (Sept. 2001)                                                                                                  381

Reread Corley (focus on liability for linking discussion)

Lockheed Martin v. Network Solutions (9th Cir.)                                                                            395


10.                          ECPA and Catch-Up (April 23)