The Information Society

Professor Jack M. Balkin

N.Y.U. Law School



Note: All of the readings for the course are available on the Internet except for C. Edwin Baker, Media, Markets, and Democracy (2002), a copy of which you should purchase for the course.

After the assigned readings for each week I will sometimes also list a set of additional readings on related subjects if you have time.


Week One-- Introduction

1. Some Key Concepts (9/2/2005)

Week Two-- Virtual Worlds (9/6/2005 and 9/9/2005)

2. Game Owners and Game Players

3. Property in Virtual Worlds


Week Three: Democratic Culture (9/13/2005 and 9/16/2005)

4. Democratic Culture


Week Four-- Media Regulation and Information Policy (9/20/2005 and 9/23/2005)

5. Audiences and Markets

6. Democracy, Journalism and International Trade


Week Five-- Media Concentration (9/27/2005 and 9/30/2005)

6. Media Concentration


Weeks Six and Seven -- Content Control over the Internet (10/11/2005 and 10/14/2005)

[N.B. There will be no class on Tuesday October 4th and Friday October 7th.]

7. Defamation and Collateral Censorship

8. Filtering and Rating Systems


Week Seven (10/18/2005)-- Copyright and Free Culture

9. Copyright and Free Culture


Weeks Eight and Nine (10/21/2005; 10/25/2005 and 10/28/2005)-- Integrating Copyright and Freedom of Speech

10. Doctrinal Problems

11. Theories of Free Speech and Copyright

Additional Readings on Copyright and Freedom of Speech

 12. Copyright and the Music Industry

Additional Readings

Week Nine-- Privacy (11/1/2005)

13. Privacy and the First Amendment


Week Ten -- Digital Control of Information (11/4/2005)

14. Digital Rights Management and Open Access

A. Basic Considerations


C. Open Access

D. The Broadcast Flag


Weeks Eleven and Twelve-- The Political Economy of Information Production (11/8/2005 and 11/11/2005; 11/15/2005)

[N.B. There will be no class on Friday, November 18th.]

15. The Political Economy of Information Production

Optional Readings

16. Access to Knowledge


Weeks Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen-- Journalism, Democracy and Politics (11/22/2005; 11/29/2005 and 12/2/2005; 12/6/2005 and 12/9/2005)


17. Participatory Journalism

18. The Blogosphere and Democracy

19. Information Aggregation and Problems of Deliberation

Optional Readings