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

Massachusetts Considers Digital Right to Repair

On September 26, 2017, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure heard testimony on proposed digital “right to repair” bills H.143 and S.96. The two proposed bills would require manufacturers of digital devices to provide diagnostic, repair, and service information to independent technicians and owners of devices, information that is currently only available to technicians selected and authorized by the manufacturers. The bills would further require manufacturers allow independent technicians and owners to purchase replacement parts and service tools at a reasonable price. The bills by their terms relieve manufacturers of the obligation to reveal any trade secret; however, they do not address the practicality of providing service manuals and diagnostic information without exposing trade secrets, particularly for manufacturers who rely heavily on trade secret protection.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Members of Congress in Support of Access to Law

On September 25, 2017, the Cyberlaw Clinic and local counsel Catherine Gellis filed an amicus brief on behalf of members of Congress Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19th District) and Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District) in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The brief supports defendant-appellant Public.Resource.org (Public Resource) in the case American Society of Testing Engineers (ASTM) et. al. v. Public.Resource.org, Case No. 17-7035 (D.C. Cir.). The appeal — a consolidation of two district court cases, both filed by standard developing organizations (SDOs) — addresses the copyrightability of the law and standards incorporated therein. The crux of the case is whether the text of applicable law may be shared freely by non-profit organizations like Public Resource. 


Copyright Office Section 512 Study Comment

512 Cover PageUNITED STATES COPYRIGHT OFFICE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS COMMENT REGARDING SECTION 512 STUDY | DOCKET NO. 2015-7 | COMMENT OF ADAM HOLLAND AND CHRISTOPHER T. BAVITZ ADDRESSING QUESTIONS 11, 15, 25, 29, AND 30 (AND ALL QUESTIONS GENERALLY) | APRIL 1, 2016 | The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this comment on behalf of Adam Holland and Christopher Bavitz, who work on the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Lumen project, in connection with the United States Copyright Office’s study concerning Section 512 of the Copyright Act and the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The comment highlighted the need for complex policy determinations – like those involving liability and immunity of online platforms – to be based on data and evidence of the sort collected and shared by Lumen. The comment also underscored the value of transparency about takedowns in facilitating clear and manageable processes for all parties in the takedown regime and urged the Copyright Office to encourage further data-sharing to support any efforts to balance the interests of rightsholders, platforms, and users in this space.  Harvard Law School students Shoshana Schoenfeld and Jonathan Luebbers, enrolled in the Clinic during the spring term 2016, contributed significantly to the comment.