The Information Society

Professor Jack M. Balkin

Yale Law School

Syllabus-- Spring Semester 2010


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), Lawrence Lessig, Remix (2008); Neil Netanel, Copyright's Paradox (2008), and Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (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.

Dates marked with an asterisk (*) may be rescheduled.


Part I: Introduction-- Democratic Culture

1. Democratic Culture and Freedom of Speech (1/25/2010)

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


Part II: Virtual Worlds and Social Software

2. Regulating Virtual Worlds (1/26/2010)

Additional Readings

3. Social Software Platforms, Identity, and Privacy (2/1/2010)


Part III-- Media and Information Policy

4. Audiences, Markets and Models of Democracy (2/2/2010, 2/8/2010, 2/9/2010)


Part IV -- Content Control over the Internet

5. Collateral Censorship and Control over Conduits (2/15/2010, 2/16/2010)

A. Section 230 and the DMCA

B. Intermediaries and Cyberbullying

Additional Readings


Part V -- Copyright and Free Expression

6. Copyright and the First Amendment (2/23/2010)

Additional Readings


7. Copyright and Free Culture (3/1/2010)

Additional Readings


Part VI -- Digital Control of Information and Innovation Policy

8. Broadband Policy, Open Access and Network Neutrality (3/2/2010)

Additional Readings


9. Search Engine Policy (3/8/2010, 3/9/2010)

A. The Google Book Settlement

Special guest lecturer: James Grimmelmann

Additional Reading

B. Search Engine Regulation (3/9/2010)

Additional Readings


10. The Internet, Generativity, and Cybersecurity (3/22/2010, 3/23/2010)


Part VII -- Privacy

11. Privacy and Surveillance (3/23/2010, 4/5/2010)

A. Surveillance and Governance

B. Privacy and the Networked Self


Part VIII-- The Political Economy of Information Production

12. Networked Peer Production of Information Goods (4/6/2010, 4/12/2010 and 4/13/2010)

A. Open Source and Peer Production Models

B. Wikipedia as a case study in peer production systems

C. Peer Production Models and Social Software

Additional Readings


Part IX -- Journalism, Democracy and Politics

13. Journalism and the Blogosphere (4/19/2010)

A. New Journalistic Forms and the Future of News

Additional Readings


14. The Networked Public Sphere and Democracy (4/20/2010, 4/26/2010 and 4/27/2010)


Optional Readings


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