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. The Cyberlaw Clinic advocates with or on behalf of collaborators and clients on a variety of law and policy topics. The Clinic generally does not take positions in its own name. It makes client selection and other decisions relevant to its practice mindful of a set of core values and actively seeks to advance those values through its work. Values at the heart of the Clinic’s practice and teaching activities include: promotion of a robust and inclusive online ecosystem for free expression; advancement of diversity as a key interest in technology development and tech policy; elimination or mitigation of the impact of bias in the development and deployment of technology; respect for and protection of privacy, vis-à-vis both private and government actors; open government; transparency with respect to public and private technical systems that impact all citizens (and, in particular, members of vulnerable populations); access to knowledge and information; advancement of cultural production through efficient and balanced regulatory and enforcement regimes; and support for broad participation in public discourse

From the Blog

Cyberlaw Clinic, Researchers File Comment re: OMB AI Draft Memo

On Friday, March 13th, the Cyberlaw Clinic and a team of researchers based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society filed an administrative comment addressing the United States Office of Management and Budget’s “Draft Memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, ‘Guidance for Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Applications.'” The Draft Memorandum aims to provide guidance to inform federal agencies’ “development of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches regarding technologies and industrial sectors that are empowered or enabled by artificial intelligence (AI)” and encourage agencies to “consider ways to reduce barriers to the development and adoption of AI technologies.” Researchers who joined the comment include Amar Ashar, Ryan Budish, and Adam Nagy of the Berkman Klein Center  for Internet & Society and the Clinic’s own Chris Bavitz, Jessica Fjeld, and Mason Kortz.

Cyberlaw Clinic, Law Profs Support Warhol Estate w/Amicus Brief in Copyright Case

On Friday, February 28, 2020, the Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus curiae brief (.pdf) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of a group of prominent intellectual property law scholars. The Clinic filed the brief in the case, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Lynn Goldsmith. The case arises out of a particularly interesting set of facts. In 2018, Ms. Goldsmith alleged that Mr. Warhol infringed her copyright when he used one of her photographs of the musician Prince as the basis for his iconic “Prince Series.” Andy Warhol created the Prince Series for use in the November 1984 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Ms. Goldsmith brought suit in 2018 based on the use of the Prince Series in a special commemorative issue that Condé Nast published after Prince’s death in 2016. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Mr. Warhol’s use was permissible under the fair use doctrine, because of the way he transformed the photograph when creating his images. Ms. Goldsmith appealed to the Second Circuit.


Internet Monitor: Reflections on the Digital World

INTERNET MONITOR: Reflections on the Digital World | December 16, 2014 | Clinical Instructor Vivek Krishnamurthy, Clinical Fellow Andy Sellars, and Managing Director Chris Bavitz contributed to the Internet Monitor’s second annual report, “Reflections on the Digital World,” a collection of essays addressing developments in the digitally networked environment. Andy’s piece explores the elements of existing copyright law that allow the government to replicate parts of SOPA, despite its despite in Congress, and the resultant harms to free speech. In “ABC v. Aereo, Innovation, and the Cloud,” Chris analyzes the logic behind the Supreme Court decision, and how it might impact a variety of services that operate remotely, as well as  innovation in the space.  Vivek comments on a trend in Western countries to expand their jurisdiction extra-territorially through the internet and the potential ripple effects for human rights.