The Berkman Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, known as the Berkman Publication Series, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed.)


We the Media

Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People

In We the Media, nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist and blogger Dan Gillmor tells the story of this emerging phenomenon and sheds light on this deep shift in how we make--and consume--the news.

  • Dan Gillmor

24 Jan 2006

Rapid ICT Change and Workplace Knowledge Obsolescence: Causes and Proposed Solutions

ICT changes are visible in many aspects of our lives. It is changing how we communicate, learn and seek entertainment. Our work environments are no exception....Corporate knowledge management initiatives are an essential way to overcome these problems, sometimes as a complement to training, other times even as a substitute. But corporate knowledge management has a great deal to learn from the experiences of online communities, which increasingly organize knowledge in wiki and blog environments, and utilize tags, feeds, aggregators and links to better connect the pieces.

  • Henrik Schneider

14 Dec 2005

Frames from the Framers: How America's Revolutionaries Imagined Intellectual Property

The dominant metaphor in England for many years had compared creative work to the harvest of a landed estate. The estate metaphor was bounded by two others, however: commonwealth and monopoly. For some, the fruits of creativity should be “common stock,” as free and general as air or water, and therefore the estate in question should not be a private holding but more like the old agricultural commons. For others, private estates were fine, but no one should monopolize their fruits. Copyright and patent were understood to be monopolies, and unchecked monopolies were understood as social evils.

  • Lewis Hyde

13 Dec 2005

The Broadcast Flag: It's Not Just TV

It's not about the television. Or rather, it's not about television as broadcast to the passive consumer, to be received on single-purpose boxes. It's about television as it could be, with innovative companies and tinkerers making television broadcasts a core part of the converged home media network. The crippling of this kind of television is an early warning against a pervasive technology regulation.

  • Wendy Seltzer

30 Sep 2005

Catch-As-Catch-Can: A Case Note On Grokster

In summer 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision which is surely destined to play a significant role in the interrelation between law and technology in the coming years. The case, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., et al. v. Grokster, Ltd., et al., pitted copyright holders against the operators of certain peer-to-peer online file-sharing services. In this article, we provide an extensive exposition of the Court's decision.

  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser

30 Sep 2005

The Internet and Democracy: Global Catalyst or Democratic Dud?

In this study we explore the global effect of the Internet on democracy over the period of 1992 to 2002 by observing the relationships between measures related to democracy and Internet prevalence. Our results show a significant correlation between Internet penetration (measured as the estimated number of Internet users per 1,000 people) and a common indicator of a nation’s level of democratization provided by the Freedom House...We employ Lessig’s framework of regulation to examine the cause of this Internet-democracy correlation.

  • Michael Best
  • Keegan W. Wade

30 Sep 2005

Technological Complements to Copyright

Internet Law Series

This volume is devoted to exploring the technological, legal, and policy issues arising from widespread unauthorized copying of copyright material. The book explains the history of "trusted systems" that permit publishers to control how the public relates to their materials and assesses the likelihood that such systems can come into common use. Legal and policy choices that are designed to encourage the development of such systems are discussed, along with the implications for the future of both information technology and intellectual property law.

  • Jonathan Zittrain

31 Jul 2005

iTunes: Some Observations After 500 Million Downloaded Songs

This document takes yet another look at the iTunes Music Store. In contrast to previous studies, however, it does not intend to provide a thorough follow-up analysis of the specific interactions between markets, technology, norms, and the law, nor does it seek to describe the Post-Grokster digital music landscape in greater detail. Rather, it seeks to share some observations that one might find interesting from a business, legal, or policy perspective.

  • Urs Gasser
  • Gabriela Ruiz Begue

31 Jul 2005

Internet Filtering in Singapore in 2004-2005: A Country Study

The Republic of Singapore is an economic leader in Southeast Asia, with a vibrant information and communications technologies sector; however, the state maintains strong formal and informal controls over the information to which its citizens have access. Compared to other countries that implement mandatory filtering regimes that ONI has studied closely, though, Singapore's technical filtering system is one of the most limited.

  • OpenNet Initiative

31 Jul 2005


Internet Law Series

This casebook explores Internet Law as a coherent if organic whole — integrating the historical sweep of the global Internet’s development with both the opportunities and problems it has brought about. The book is broad and thorough enough to be the primary or sole text for a variety of Internet-related courses, while deep enough to bring students through the important nuances of such doctrinal topics as copyright, privacy and jurisdiction without assuming any particular prior exposure to these subfields.

  • Jonathan Zittrain

31 Jul 2005

Tagging and Why It Matters

Tagging has become the latest craze among the digerati. While it certainly has been hyped, there are reasons to think it is not only going to go mainstream, it will have effects beyond the realm of mere digital convenience.

  • David Weinberger

12 May 2005

Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study

China's Internet filtering regime is the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. Our testing found efforts to prevent access to a wide range of sensitive materials, from pornography to religious material to political dissent. Chinese citizens seeking access to Web sites containing content related to Taiwanese and Tibetan independence, Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, the Tiananmen Square incident, opposition political parties, or a variety of anti-Communist movements will frequently find themselves blocked.

  • OpenNet Initiative

13 Apr 2005

Internet Filtering in Iran in 2004-2005: A Country Study

Iran has adopted one of the world's most substantial Internet censorship regimes. As this report demonstrates, Iran's sophisticated Internet censorship regime is part of a trend that the OpenNet Initiative's research has uncovered toward states focusing on blocking expression in local languages, such as Farsi, and with a particular view toward clamping down on what can be published through inexpensive and popular applications, such as weblogs.

  • OpenNet Initiative

1 Apr 2005

Amicus Brief: MGM vs. Grokster (Supreme Court Case No. 04-480)

In Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984), this Court held that the manufacture and distribution of technology that is sometimes used to engage in copyright infringement does not give rise to secondary liability so long as the technology in question is “capable of substantial noninfringing uses.”

  • Jonathan Zittrain
  • William Fisher
  • John Palfrey

1 Mar 2005

NetDialogue: A Mechanism to Promote Transparency and Public Dialogue in International Net Governance

In WGIG terms, the Net Dialogue website introduced here is a tool to shed light on how international organizations are dealing with the issue of “applicable jurisdiction and cross border coordination” in international Net* governance. Available in English (EN), Chinese (ZH), and Arabic (AR).

  • Mary Rundle

1 Feb 2005

Content and Control: Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries

The online environment and new digital technologies threaten the viability of the music and film industries' traditional business models. The industries have responded by seeking government intervention, among other means, to protect their traditional models as well as by developing new models specifically adapted to the online market. This paper seeks to support policymakers' decision making by delineating the potential consequences of policy actions in these areas.

  • John Palfrey
  • Derek Bambauer
  • Urs Gasser
  • Derek Slater
  • Meg Smith

7 Jan 2005