About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate clients on issues relating to the Internet, technology, and intellectual property. Students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit by working on real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, and transactional / licensing projects and cases. The Clinic strives to help clients achieve success in their activities online, mindful of (and in response to) existing law. The Clinic also works with clients to shape the law’s development through policy and advocacy efforts. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. The Clinic works independently, with law students supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys.  In some cases, the Clinic collaborates with counsel throughout the country to take advantage of regional or substantive legal expertise.

From the Blog

Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week — Week of Feb 26, 2018!

The week of February 26th is fair use week / fair dealing week, which “celebrates the important doctrines of fair use in the United States and fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions.” The Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication is putting on fifth anniversary fair use week event — “Tried and True:  Fair Use Tales for the Telling” — at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.  Sign up at the website to hear perspectives from luminaries, including Kenneth Crews, David Hansen, and Rebekah Modrak, among many others. The Clinic’s Chris Bavitz joins Laura Quilter and Dan Booth that morning for a discussion entitled “Litigation and Fair Use, the Last 15 Years.”

Cyberlaw Clinic Year in Review: 2017

We in the Cyberlaw Clinic believe that the statute of limitations on year-in-review blog posts expires at the end of the first quarter of the following year. (If you require evidence for this claim, we’ll kindly point you to Orin Kerr’s “Theory of Law.”) With that in mind — as we dig into our newest batch of projects during the Harvard Law School spring term — it seems like a good time to look back and reflect on the past year.  It was — to say the least — an eventful one here in the Cyberlaw Clinic, for students and staff alike.


Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt

The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the case of Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt, SJC No. 11358. In the brief, we argue that the Fifth Amendment and article 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights prohibit the government from compelling a defendant to decrypt their electronic data for use against them in criminal proceedings because it involves the kind of testimonial acts protected by constitutional protections against self-incrimination. This is the Cyberlaw Clinic’s third brief filed in a series of cases before the Supreme Judicial Court addressing updates to constitutional protections in light of new technologies. Prior filings on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation concerned warrant requirements for GPS tracking of suspects (Commonwealth v. Rousseau) and historical cell phone location records (Commonwealth v. Augustine).