The Information Society

Professor Jack M. Balkin

Yale Law School




The assigned books for the course are Jack M. Balkin and Beth Simone Noveck, eds., The State of Play (2006); C. Edwin Baker, Media, Markets, and Democracy (2002); Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (2006), Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet (2008), Neil Netanel, Copyright's Paradox (2008), Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (2008), and Cass R. Sunstein, 2.0 (2008).

All other readings for the course are available on the Internet.

After the assigned readings for each week I will sometimes also list a set of additional readings on related subjects if you are particularly interested in the subject. They are optional.


Part I: Introduction-- Some Key Concepts

1. Code (1/26/2009)

Additional Readings (N.B. all additional readings are optional)

2. Democratic Culture (1/27/2009)

Additional Reading


Part II: Virtual Worlds and Social Software

3. Regulating Virtual Worlds (2/2/2009)

4. Virtual Worlds as Social Software (2/3/2009)

Additional Readings


Part III-- Media and Information Policy

5. Audiences, Markets and Models of Democracy (2/9/2009, 2/10/2009 and 2/16/2009)


Part IV -- Content Control over the Internet

6. Collateral Censorship and Control over Conduits (2/17/2009, 2/23/2009 and 2/24/2009)

A. Section 230

Additional Readings


Additional Readings

C. Policy Justifications for Regulating Conduits

Additional Readings

D. Search Engines as Conduits

Additional Readings


8. Filtering and Rating Systems (3/2/2009 and 3/3/2009)

Additional Readings


Part V -- Copyright and Free Expression

9. Copyright and Free Expression (3/09/2009, 3/10/2009)

Additional Readings


Part VI -- Innovation Policy

11. Digital Control of Information (3/23/2009)

A. Broadband Policy, Open Access, and Network Neutrality

Additional Readings

B. Copyright and Innovation Policy

Additional Reading

C. Theoretical Considerations


12. The Internet and Innovation Policy (3/24/2009, 3/30/2009)


Part VII -- Privacy

15. Privacy and Surveillance (3/31/2009)

A. Surveillance and Governance

B. Privacy and the First Amendment

Additional Readings


Part VIII-- The Political Economy of Information Production

16. The Political Economy of Information Production (4/6/2009, 4/7/2009, 4/13/2009 and 4/14/2009)

A. Open Source and Peer Production Models

Additional Reading

B. Wikipedia as a case study in peer production systems

C. Peer Production Models and Social Software

D. Peer Production Models and Governance

Additional Readings


Part IX -- Journalism, Democracy and Politics

19. Journalism, the Blogosphere, and Legal Scholarship (4/20/2009, 4/21/2009)

A. New Journalistic Forms and the Future of News

B. Blogs, Opinion, and Legal Scholarship

Additional Readings

20. The Networked Public Sphere and Democracy (4/27/2009, 4/28/2009, 5/4/2009 and 5/5/2009)

Optional Readings


* * * * *


Additional Topics and Readings


A1. Access to Knowledge (4/20/2007)


A2. Standards Setting


A3. Innovation Policy