The Berkman Center enjoys a global reputation for cutting-edge work centered on the relationships between the Internet, law, and society. Our mode — entrepreneurial nonprofit — embraces our pursuit of scholarly research in the manner and spirit of an academic think tank, anchored by the diverse collaborative and individual work of our faculty and fellows. more >

The Berkman Center enjoys a global reputation for cutting-edge work centered on the relationships between the Internet, law, and society. Our mode — entrepreneurial nonprofit — embraces our pursuit of scholarly research in the manner and spirit of an academic think tank, anchored by the diverse collaborative and individual work of our faculty and fellows.

Our efforts are concentrated in three areas of inquiry, united by the question of how the Internet can elicit the best from its users.

Law, Technology, Innovation, and Knowledge

The Berkman Center has sought and seeks, first, to be an honest broker in the conversations about the future of the Internet and related technologies. In the field of intellectual property, the need for creative solutions derived from understanding the varied motivations of the relevant players, has continued to grow as the economy changes around the world.

The Relationship between Internet and Civic Activity

Second, we see an enormous need to bring clarity to the conversation about the Internet’s impact on democracy. As more and more activists are using the network as an essential set of tools to do their job — in democratic and non-democratic regimes alike — the threats to their personal security and their ability to express themselves are growing.

Technology, Law, and Development

Third, we envision a growing opportunity to use Internet technologies to improve the way that we teach, learn, and make information accessible to citizens around the world who are not physically proximate to our libraries.



Broadband Review

The Berkman Center conducted an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world, in order to help inform the FCC’s efforts in developing the National Broadband Plan.


The Berkman Center's Circumvention project is engaged in designing and conducting research aimed at gaining a broad understanding of the usage of circumvention tools.

E-Publishing Models

With the generous support of the Revson Foundation, the E-Publishing Models Project is focused on exploring current issues associated with digital publishing business models and access to electronically published materials in libraries.

Freedom To Teach: Claiming Educational Fair Use

"FREEDOM TO TEACH": The Berkman Center at Harvard University is considering a project that we hope will culminate in the widespread circulation of a Statement of Best Practices regarding fair use for teachers and scholars in higher education. This posting outlines our current thinking on the project. We post it here for discussion and feedback. --Lewis Hyde, Berkman Fellow, Harvard University; Thomas Professor of Creative Writing, Kenyon College

Internet and Democracy

The Internet and Democracy Project is an initiative that will examine how the Internet influences democratic norms and modes, including its impact on civil society, citizen media, government transparency, and the rule of law, with a focus on the Middle East.

Internet Safety Technical Task Force

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) is a group of Internet businesses, non-profit organizations, academics, and technology companies that have joined together to identify effective tools and technologies to create a safer environment on the Internet for youth. It was created in February 2008 in accordance with the "Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety" announced by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace in January 2008. The Task Force submitted its Final Report to the Attorneys General in December, 2008.

Rethink Music

The Berkman Center works in collaboration with Berklee College of Music on a variety of initiatives under the Rethink Music banner, examining the law, policy, and business structures that inform the creation and dissemination of music.

Berkman Briefings

Berkman Briefings is a reading series sponsored by the Berkman Center that provides background information about major questions related to Internet policy, technology, and law.

Digital Media Project (DMP)

The goal of the Digital Media Project is not to advance a simple agenda but instead to help educate stakeholders – government officials, the media, artists, businesspeople, and the public at large – about the choices and values that can guide law and technology to maximize the potential of digital media for the years ahead.

Net Dialogue

The Net Dialogue project strives to encourage greater public access to Net-related rulemaking by intergovernmental organizations, and to engage technologists and policymakers in exploring ways to protect core freedoms in the Information Society.

Open Economies

Open Economies is a policy center created to support developing nations as they embrace digital technology and digitally enabled entrepreneurship as a means to economic and social development.

Open ePolicy Group

We formed the Open ePolicy Group in February 2005 with members from every region of the world to share insights from governments, companies and organizations at the forefront of global technology.


[Berkman Project 2001-2002] Openlaw is an experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum. With your assistance, we will develop arguments, draft pleadings, and edit briefs in public, online. Non-lawyers and lawyers alike are invited to join the process by adding thoughts to the "brainstorm" outlines, drafting and commenting on drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources.

The Bridge

The Bridge is divided into two major parts: a six-unit series on legal reasoning, and a series of modules on American Legal Theory, divided into six "tracks" representing important schools of thought.

The Judicial Gatekeeping Project

The seminar's focus is on the "gate-keeping" role of judges. Ever since the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Richardson Merrill-Dow in 1993, questions have raged about the nature and extent of the judicial gatekeeping role in assessing the admissibility of expert scientific testimony, about the reach of the gatekeeping role to other forms of expert and non-expert testimony, and about the means, methods and procedures judges can use in performing the gatekeeping function.

The Kinder & Braver World Project: Research Series

The Kinder & Braver World Project: Research Series (danah boyd and John Palfrey, editors), is presented by the Born This Way Foundation & the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This working paper series publishes short papers that synthesize existing peer-reviewed research or equivalent scholarship and provide research-grounded insight to the variety of stakeholders working on issues related to youth empowerment and action towards creating a kinder, braver world.