The “Reefer Madness” of Music Downloading

A new video being promoted to college administrators exhorts students not to engage in illegal music downloading. The web site for the group promoting the video, “,” does not identify its sponsors, but some quick sleuthing on WHOIS shows that the site is registered by Widmeyer Communications, a big DC PR firm. The content, including […]

StopBadware as Norm Entrepreneur

The StopBadware project, which is led in large part by the Berkman Center, has issued an “open inquiry” criticizing the design of AOL’s free software download. (The release has also been reported in media outlets including the New York Times). Among the problems, according to StopBadware, is that downloading AOL also installs other software, that […]

Michael Geist’s “30 Days of DRM”

Canadian cyberprof Michael Geist is spending one month writing a series of daily blog postings on digital rights management law, technology, and policy. We are up to Day 3 of his “30 Days of DRM” series, and it’s already looking like it will be a tremendous resource for people interested in the broader DRM debate. […]

DoD Backs Open-Source

Ars Technica has word of a new Defense Department report that recommends that the Department step up use of free and open-source software. From the Ars story: The report strongly cautions against proprietary vendor lock-in and discusses at length how open standards can facilitate interoperability between open source and proprietary systems, explaining that the DoD […]

ACLU v. NSA and E-mail

Bill’s excellent (and fast!) post on Judge Taylor’s decision in ACLU v. NSA raises several fascinating points. Here in Detroit, the law school is abuzz about the case, and my colleague Bob Sedler is doing a host of television and press interviews on the constitutional law implications. I’m not expert on consitutional law (to the […]

Federal Court Strikes Down NSA Wiretapping Program

This just in: a federal judge in Michigan has ruled, in a suit brought by the ACLU, that the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional. Here is an AP story and here (via CNET) is the decision. On state secrets, the judge here (Anna Diggs Taylor) followed the lead of Judge Vaughn Walker in the […]

“Anonymity as the Default”

David Weinberger has a long and insightful post in which he declares that anonymity should be the default in the construction of new digital identity solutions. And, because several of the leading ID systems now in development function as interoperable platforms, he fears that this principle will not prevail: My fear is that we are […]

Free Cyberlaw Syllabi

The estimable Jessica Litman, one of my personal heroes, has compiled this set of links to freely accessible online syllabi for computer and internet law courses at more than thirty law schools. For newbie cyberprofs such as myself, this is truly a gold mine. In the coming months, I’ll have to begin working on the […]

Web-Braille and Cautious Gatekeepers

One of the great things about the release of the Digital Learning white paper has been the comments that are coming in from diverse readers who heard about it from someplace online. Case in point: Mike Duigou, who e-mailed me to say that the problems we reported sounded familiar to him from a different context: […]

Technology for Rights Clearance and Fair Use

One of the interesting hard questions in the recent Digital Learning white paper was the tension between making it easier to get licenses for content on the one hand and promoting a robust understanding of fair use on the other hand. Some people with whom we spoke fretted, quite understandably, about the trend toward rightsholders […]