About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman 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

Mayor Menino’s Legacy of Civic Technology

To be in Boston on Thursday, October 30th was to be in mourning for the Mayor who led the City on the Hill for two decades, Thomas Menino. As Boston’s citizens paid tribute to the man nicknamed the “urban mechanic” for his attention to the minutiae of city life, many cited ways in which the late Mr. Menino had used technology to make large-scale changes aimed at improving government efficiency, even when he himself was often the least tech-savvy person in the room.

Cyberlaw Clinic files Petition on Behalf of Medical Device Researchers at the Copyright Office

Copyright OfficeThe Cyberlaw Clinic has filed a petition on behalf of a coalition of medical device researchers as part of the Copyright Office and Library of Congress’ rulemaking for exemptions to copyright’s anti-circumvention law. Every three years the Librarian of Congress, at the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, considers exemptions to the general law against circumventing technological measures that prevent the public from accessing copyrighted works. These exemptions are granted in cases where the law against circumventing technological measures around copyrighted works unduly impedes on lawful uses of those works. (For more on anti-circumvention law, see the Chilling Effects FAQ.)


Tuteur v. Crosley-Corcoran

TUTEUR v. CROSLEY-CORCORAN | Civil Action No. 13-cv-10159 MBB | D. Mass. May 1, 2013 | The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this amicus curiae brief (pdf) on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Digital Media Law Project, asking the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to join other courts that have addressed the issue and confirm that that copyright owners must consider whether a use is fair before sending a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice pursuant to Section 512(c) of the Copyright Act.  The case concerns a Section 512(f) misrepresentation claim asserted by a plaintiff who alleged that defendant’s 512(c) notice was improper, because plaintiff’s use of defendant’s photograph constituted fair use. The Court issued an order to show cause, suggesting that it might read Section 512(f) very narrowly and require only that those sending takedown notices represent that they own the content at issue.  EFF and DMLP expressed concerns that this view of Section 512(f) might undermine its effectiveness in serving to balance users’ rights against those of content owners in the DMCA’s takedown regime.  This concern is particularly apparent in cases involving critical speech, where – absent an effective mechanism to challenge wrongful takedowns under Section 512(f) – Section 512(c) may be used improperly to silence a speaker with whom a copyright owner disagrees.