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

Clinic Supports Reporters Committee, Other Media Entities, w/Amicus Filing on MA Anti-SLAPP Statute

federal-courthouse-boston-maOn January 24, 2017, the Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (pdf)  on behalf of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in the case, Steinmetz v. Coyle & Caron Inc., First Circuit No. 16-1996. The brief supports defendant-appellee in the case, and the Court granted leave to file the brief this week (over the objections of plaintiff-appellant). RCFP was joined on the brief by The Associated Press, Gannett Co., Inc., the New England First Amendment Coalition, and the New England Newspaper & Press Association, Inc. RCFP has summarized the brief on its website.

Kenyan Court Knocks Down Criminal Defamation, Safeguards Freedom of Expression

Efforts to create more space for free expression in Africa have been strengthened by the Kenyan Judiciary. In the case of Jacqueline Okuta & Anor vs. AG & Others, the High Court of Kenya on 6 of February 2017 annulled section 194 of the Penal Code that provides for the offence of criminal defamation. This decision is significant in safeguarding the fundamental rights of Kenyans, particularly in light of the forthcoming general elections. It curtails the misuse of criminal law provisions by political figures to curtail speech they consider unfavorable. Journalists especially have been victims of criminal defamation sanctions for exposing corruption and unlawful activities of public officials.

Featured

Legal and Ethical Issues in the Use of Telepresence Robots

WeRobotPaperCoverLEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE USE OF TELEPRESENCE ROBOTS: BEST PRACTICES AND TOOLKIT (WORKING DRAFT) | March 27, 205 | Spring 2015 Cyberlaw Clinic students Jack Xu and Cecillia Xie teamed up with the Clinic’s Managing Director, Chris Bavitz, and J. Nathan Matias and Chelsea Barabas of the MIT Center for Civic Media to prepare a working draft paper entitled “Legal and Ethical Issues in the Use of Telepresence Robots:  Best Practices and Toolkit.” The paper was submitted for discussion at the WeRobot 2015 conference held April 10 – 11, 2015 at University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, where Cecillia, Jack, Chris, and Chelsea joined discussant Laurel Riek of Notre Dame for a panel discussion. The working draft builds on work the Clinic did with Nate and Chelsea in connection with their “People’s Bot” project and lays the groundwork for development a broader toolkit examining privacy and related concerns that arise in connection with the use of telepresence robots.