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Week 4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard Law School

MIT 6.805/6.806/STS085: Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier

Week 4

Monday Class at Harvard: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss -- From Broadcast to Webcast (Zittrain)

As a bookend to explorations of copyright on the Net, this session will explore the compulsory licensing scheme that seeks to extract royalties from online webcasters.

We will consider the technology behind webcasting and the fears of copyright holders in coming to understand the death - or at least dearth - of a new industry amidst the complexities of copyright legislation.


Thursday Class at MIT: Software Patent and Copyright Law (Abelson)

Slides from class (PDF)

Before class, read the following:

  • Read the 1991 piece from the League for Programming Freedom, "Against Software Patents".
  • Skim the section from the class archive on software patents, following any of the links that look interesting.
  • Read the Pennie & Edmonds Analysis of P3P and US Patent 5,862,325. You might want to briefly skim the patent itself by going to the US Patent and Trademark Office Web site and searching on the patent number. But this is a really complicated patent to read, so don't do more than skim it.
  • 1989 Letter to the Tech, by Arthur Hu '80, whose company , Mosaic Software, was put out of business by Lotus's "Look and Feel" lawsuit.