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

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.”

HR Journal, Panel on Technology and Law Enforcement — April 1st

Join Masonharvard-human-rights Kortz from the Cyberlaw Clinic along with an all-star roster of speakers on April 1, 2017, at Harvard Law School about technology and law enforcement — “Over-Policed and Under Protected: Technology, Law Enforcement and Minorities.” Sponsored by our friends at the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the panelists will address the extent to which use of technology in law enforcement exacerbates problems faced by minority groups in the United States. A reception will follow. Panelists include Sahar F. Aziz of Texas A&M School of Law and Harlan Yu of Upturn, with moderator Elana Fogel from the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services.


Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt

The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the case of Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt, SJC No. 11358. In the brief, we argue that the Fifth Amendment and article 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights prohibit the government from compelling a defendant to decrypt their electronic data for use against them in criminal proceedings because it involves the kind of testimonial acts protected by constitutional protections against self-incrimination. This is the Cyberlaw Clinic’s third brief filed in a series of cases before the Supreme Judicial Court addressing updates to constitutional protections in light of new technologies. Prior filings on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation concerned warrant requirements for GPS tracking of suspects (Commonwealth v. Rousseau) and historical cell phone location records (Commonwealth v. Augustine).