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

Clinic Files Law Scholar Briefs, Supporting Public.Resource.Org

On Friday, November 22, 2019, the Cyberlaw Clinic and local counsel Marcia Hofmann filed amicus briefs in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in two related cases, ASTM v. Public.Resource.Org (.pdf), and AERA v. Public.Resource.Org (.pdf). The cases involve copyright infringement claims brought by standards development organizations (SDOs) against Public.Resource.org. The cases are back before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The core issue in front of the Court is whether PRO’s provision of free online access to codes that were developed by the plaintiffs — but incorporated by reference into binding law — constitutes fair use.

Clinic Works w/R Street Institute on PTO Comment re: AI Inventions

The Cyberlaw Clinic recently submitted a comment in response to a request from the United States Patent and Trademark Office about the patentability of artificial intelligence (“AI”) inventions. The comment was submitted on behalf of the R Street Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The USPTO sought guidance on handling patent applications for inventions created by generative AI technology. Addressing some of the many questions posed by the USPTO, the comment discusses whether entities other than natural persons should be able to own a patent, the impact that AI technology has on the level of a person of ordinary skill in the art, and whether patent laws need to be revised to account for AI inventions.


Private Foundation Copyright Policies

AN EVALUATION OF PRIVATE FOUNDATION COPYRIGHT POLICIES, PRACTICES AND OPPORTUNITIES  |  Report  |  August 16, 2009  |  Cyberlaw Clinic Director Phil Malone and several Cyberlaw Clinic students prepared this report  as part of a joint project of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, with funding from Hewlett and Ford.  The report examines copyright licensing policies and practices at twelve private foundations, with a focus on assessing the extent to which charitable foundations are aware of and have begun to use open licenses such as Creative Commons or the GPL.