Information Law and Policy
Infosys 205

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30am-12:00pm
202 South Hall
Larry Downes

Spring 2005


Syllabus and Readings

Grades and Assignments Info

Additional Resources for Students

Class policies

Office hours and contact info



The court cases in the syllabus are available through Lexis in addition to the local copies here. To access Lexis from a non UC computer, see these instructions.






Introduction to Information Law and Policy

Samuelson, Five Challenges
Barlow, Declaration
Ryan, No Legal Theory



Employer and Employee Information Rights I – Trade Secrets

Wexler v. Greenberg
Cybertek v. Whitfield



Employer and Employee Information Rights II – Non-Compete

KGB v. Gionnoulas
Cal Code § 16600

Assignment 1 due


Employer and Employee Information Rights III – Copyright and Patent

Aymes v. Bonelli
Aetna-Standard v. Rowland



Intellectual Property I: Copyright Protection for Data and Databases

Feist v. Rural Telephone
CCC v. Maclean Hunter



Intellectual Property II: Limits on Data Protection

Warren v. Microdos
NBA v. Motorola
EU Directive

Assignment 2 due










Peer-to-Peer and the Limits of Liability

MGM v. Grokster



X-Wrap Licenses & Open Source

ProCD v. Zeidenberg
UCITA Provisions
Linux GPL



Licensing and Liability

Mortenson v. Timberline
Williams v. AOL
Cardozo v. True
Aetna v. Jeppesen



U.S. Policy on Security

National Strategy

Assignment 3 due


The "Privacy" "Debate"

EU Directive
FTC Privacy Report
GM and Europe (handout)
Cal. Sen. Bill. 1834 (2004)




Granholm v. Heald



Criminal Law I – Spam/Spyware

Spy Act (proposed)
Can-Spam Act (2003)



Criminal Law II – DMCA

Lexmark v. Static Control
Online Policy Group v. Diebold



Concluding Thoughts

Easterbrook, Law of the Horse

Assignment 4 due

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Grades and Assignments

Grading will be based on four written assignments as well as class participation. Each written assignment will be returned with a grade.

·         Written Assignment 1 -1 ½ pages. 10% of grade. Due Date: March 8, 2005.  Comments on Assignment 1.

·         Written Assignment 2 - 2-3 pages. 15% of grade. Due Date: March 17, 2005.  Comments on Assignment 2.

·         Written Assignment 3 - 2-3 pages. 15% of grade. Due Date: April 7, 2005.  Comments on Assignment 3.

·         Written Assignment 4 - 10-12 pages. 40% of grade. Due Date: April 26, 2005.

·         Class Participation/Instructor Discretion - 20% of grade.

Assignments will be due on the due date given. There will be no extensions. Please don't offer any excuse you wouldn't feel comfortable giving an employer. Grammar, spelling, and organization count!

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Here are some good resources for students interested in learning more about the topics and techniques in IS 204:

Good Sources for Legal Research and News (free) - The best sources for legal research are Lexis and Westlaw. As a UCB student, you have access to Lexis free from any UCB computer or from anywhere if you set up the UC Library proxy service. For free research tools, try:

Law and Technology - Several Public Interest groups offer information specifically dealing with issues at the intersection of law and technology:

Self-Help - Berkeley's own No Lo Press is an excellent starting place for help on specific legal problems. Note: This is no substitute for legal counsel in situations (e.g., employment-related questions) for which legal counsel is appropriate.

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Class policies

I expect the following basic rules are agreed among us:

1.      You and I will come to class and will not come late or leave early. You will let me know by email or voicemail if you will not be in class or need to arrive late or leave early.

2.      You and I will read the material assigned for each class. You don’t need to completely understand each reading but you need to be able to turn any confusion into a question.

3.      You and I will participate in class discussion. It is the quality, not the quantity, of participation that matters to me. I will not force people to speak in class, but if the same few people tend to be the only volunteers I expect you to accept conscription gracefully.

4.      You and I will respect each other by turning off our cell phones and pagers throughout class. No exceptions. We will also show respect if not love for each other in agreeing or disagreeing on content of our comments and opinions.

5.      You and I will respect each other by eating and drinking in class only if absolutely necessary and in a civilized way that our families would not be ashamed to watch.

6.      You and I will discuss any problems with the course or course materials as soon as we become aware of them. Problems can be raised in class or in private as is most appropriate

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Contact info

Office hours: Thursday 3:00-5:00pm at 311 South Hall or by appointment
Phone: (510) 526-9547

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