This summer, Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society will once again conduct a session on the emerging field of cyberlaw. The Internet Law Summer Program–which holds classes both in Cambridge and in cyberspace–will bring together leading legal scholars to examine cutting-edge cyberlaw issues.

“The rules governing what happens on the Internet are changing,” said Harvard Law School professor William Fisher III, faculty director of the Berkman Center and chair of the Internet Law Program. “Attitudes and laws concerning online privacy and security shifted in the aftermath of September 11. The crisis in the music industry signaled by the emergence of peer-to-peer copying systems has intensified, and the range of possible solutions has grown. Various doctrines pertaining to e-commerce have been modified. Our goals are to inform participants concerning the state of the law in these fields and to stimulate debate about where the law should be going.”

The Internet Law Program begins with online instruction June 3-26, followed by an intensive residential program at Harvard Law School July 1-5, and concludes with online moderated discussion forums for the remainder of July. The Program is offered twice per year — a summer session in Cambridge and a winter session abroad.

Joining Fisher to teach the program are New York University law professor Yochai Benkler, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, and Harvard Law School professors and Berkman Center faculty co-directors Charles Nesson and Jonathan Zittrain. Additional guest lecturers will be announced in the following weeks.

“Privacy, property, speech, commerce — the Internet remains at a critical point of inflection, and the outcomes of subtle but important technical and strategic battles will determine the digital future of each of these substantive areas,” said Zittrain. “The Internet Law Program brings together people who rarely talk to each other — but whose collective activities bear on the future of the Net.”

The Internet Law Program is intended for a broad audience, including leaders in business, law, government, and the non-profit sector. No previous experience with Internet law is necessary. Past participants have included entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and journalists who cover information technology. Those interested in participating can register online at or request more information by sending e-mail to American lawyers in some states may be eligible for 30 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is a research program founded in 1997 to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Today, the Berkman Center serves as the focal point for an international network of teaching and research faculty, students, cyberlaw practitioners, entrepreneurs and technologists engaged in innovative research projects designed to push the boundaries of current thought on law and the Internet.

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