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

Student Commentary on the Clinic’s Internet Jurisdiction Work

asnThe HLS Clinical and Pro Bono programs blog currently features a post by spring 2017 Cyberlaw Clinic student (and graduating Harvard Law School 3L) Alicia Solow-Niederman.  The piece highlights Alicia’s work this semester with Clinic Assistant Director Vivek Krishnamurthy and our friend and Clinic advisor Nani Jansen Reventlow. Alicia was part of a team that helped to tackle some complex questions about online jurisdiction, preparing a working paper along with student Javier Careaga Franco (LL.M ’17) entitled “Here, There, or Everywhere?.” The paper offers a methodology and taxonomy aimed at clarifying principles to govern the geographic scope of orders to remove online content.

First Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Unusual Copyright Case

On April 6, 2017, Cyberlaw Clinic students attended oral argument in a First Circuit copyright appeal involving a curious set of facts and legal issues. The case pitted Richard Goren, a Massachusetts attorney, against Xcentric Ventures, LLC, the owner of an online consumer review website known as the Ripoff Report. Goren was upset by a review of his services posted on Ripoff Report by Christian DuPont, the defendant in a prior case where Goren had represented the plaintiff. Goren initially sued Dupont in Massachusetts state court, alleging that Dupont’s review was defamatory. Dupont failed to appear, and thus defaulted. After obtaining a default judgment, Goren requested that Xcentric remove the posting. Xcentric refused, citing the Ripoff Report’s strict “no removal policy.”

Featured

Commonwealth v. White

Onyx White Triplicate Final - reducedCOMMONWEALTH V. WHITE | SJC–1197 | Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court | November 23, 2015 The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (PDF) in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) in Commonwealth v. White, SJC-11917. This is the third case in as many years in which Massachusetts’s highest court has sought the input of amici to help clarify when law enforcement may glean information from a cell phone to advance a criminal investigation. At issue in White is the question of what evidence is required to establish probable cause to seize a cell phone without a warrant – especially in view of an allegation that the cell phone contains a remote wipe feature, raising the specter of its contents being erased if the police don’t immediately seize it. ACLUM argues that the ubiquity of cell phones, their powerful functionality, and their capacity to store enormous amounts of private information are reasons that they merit the very strongest privacy protections as enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.