Teaching

One of the Berkman Center’s top priorities is education. Faculty, fellows, and staff affiliated with the Center engage in teaching activities that address complex legal, technological, social, and business issues; examine questions of both public and private law; and integrate relevant international and domestic legal considerations from a global perspective.

These efforts reach students from Harvard Law School and various other Harvard University graduate programs (including the Harvard Graduate School of Design and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), Harvard College, and Harvard Extension School, as well as interested members of the general public.

The Center places a premium on innovation in pedagogy, with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, peer-learning, and mentorship. The Digital Problem Solving Initiative serves as one example of a novel teaching and learning initiative, offering participants an opportunity to enhance and cultivate competency in various digital literacies as teams engage with research, design, and policy relating to the digital world The Berkman Center also hosts Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, a first-of-its-kind law school clinical program founded in 1999. The program is designed to offer students real-world opportunities to advise clients on legal issues relating to technology, intellectual property, privacy, online speech, and the like, under the close supervision of practicing attorneys.

The Berkman Center seeks to develop and deploy technology that enhances educational opportunities for instructors and learners alike. The H2O online textbook platform, developed by Berkman Center Director Jonathan Zittrain, demonstrates the Center’s commitment to building tools that allow students and their teachers to engage with course materials.

Finally, the Berkman Center prioritizes engagement not just with Harvard students, or within the academic community more generally, but with the broader public. Efforts such as the Center’s reading group series and the online CopyrightX course taught by Berkman Center Director Terry Fisher reach a wide audience and invite a diverse range of participants to wrestle with issues at the heart of the Center’s work.

Below, this list of Berkman-affiliated courses represents a partial list of these offerings.

Comparative Online Privacy – Spring 2015

Online privacy has become a major issue for Internet users, technology companies, online business, researchers, and policy-makers around the world, as more and more personal information is collected, aggregated, shared, and used across a wide variety of contexts. Policy-makers on both sides of the Atlantic - and globally - have been responsive to concerns expressed by users, consumer organizations, activists, and academics, and have proposed an important series of new laws, regulations, and other privacy-enhancing instruments at the international and national level. At the same time, the approaches aimed at regulating the respective information practices on the Internet - targeting social networking sites, online advertising, data aggregators, and the like - as well as the details of the proposed privacy norms are highly controversial.

Copyright – Spring 2015

This course explores copyright law and policy. Approximately two thirds of the readings and class time are devoted to the American copyright system; the remainder are devoted to the major relevant multilateral treaties and to the laws pertaining to copyright and "neighboring rights" in other countries. Substantial attention is paid to the efforts of philosophers, economists, and social theorists to justify, reform, or abolish the copyright system.

Cyberlaw Clinic – Spring 2015

The Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, engages Harvard Law School students in a wide range of real-world client counseling, licensing and transactional, litigation, advocacy and policy projects and cases, covering a broad spectrum of Internet, new technology, and intellectual property legal issues.

Law and the Global Health Crisis – Spring 2015

Many developing countries are already facing or will soon face health crises arising from the increasing incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases. This Reading Group will explore potential legal and market-based interventions to mitigate the human and economic toll of such diseases. Particular attention will be paid to ways in which pharmaceutical companies, governments, and NGOs might contribute, individually or collaboratively, to the alleviation of the crisis.

Rhetoric and Public Discourse – Spring 2015

Some of our questions: What roles do and should intermediaries play in setting our topical agendas and shaping conversations around them? What impact does and can money have in influencing opinion on a large scale? What new modalities exist to facilitate conversation and closure among parties who disagree in good faith? Should advocates and agents be treated the same as those who claim to be speaking for themselves? Are there ways to identify and mitigate discourse grounded in bad faith, a.k.a. truthiness?

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