Rutgers Spring 2004

Rutgers Law School - Newark

e-Commerce Law Seminar Course Outline and Spring 2004 Schedule

I. January 15 – Introduction

Select writing topics ( in class). Start research logs and outlines.

The Internet interpenetrates all aspects of e-commerce … consider these new legal issues, new methods of resolving legal issues and new methods of preventing legal issues to arise

A. "Coping with COPPA" Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal December 29, 2003

B. "Exploitation of Trademarks on the Internet" Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal December 8, 2003

C. “The Recording Industry Association of America Sues Its Members' Customers” Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal November 3, 2003

D. “Using the Internet to Resolve Disputes” Jonathan Bick The Legal Intelligencer October 20, 2003

E. "Internet poses many issues for H.R. professionals: Human resources concerns include handling private data, maintaining security" Jonathan Bick National Law Journal July 28,2003

Summary of business law

Synopsis of business

Review characteristics of the Internet

How Does it Work

Assessment of elements of e-commerce

What is it

How big is it

E-commerce users



e-Commerce stages – legal issues

Start up


Merger / Acquisition


Please note that the numbers which follow refer to chapters in 101 Things You Need To Know About Internet Law by Jonathan Bick (Random House 2000)

1. A parent is almost never liable for a child's bad acts on the Internet

2. To make Internet contracts enforceable, simply have proof of written signed terms

3. To avoid out-of-state liability when using web ads, avoid out-of-state contacts

4. Web site advertisement publishers are almost never liable for customers' advertisements

5. What can legally be done if a person impersonates another on the Internet

6. Buying and selling medicine on the Internet is legal

7. Spamming is generally not illegal, but one California court ruled spam e-mail to be illegal trespass

8. Sweepstakes and other Internet games of chance are legal

9. An Internet site's activities can result in an out-of-state suit....

10. Internet credit card transactions will be afforded the same standard of protection as all other credit card transactions

II. January 22- Application of Traditional Laws

Hand in a copy of the research log for review (optional).

ADA – web sites and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act


AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND THE INTERNET Jonathan Bick Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology 2000 10 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 205

Implementing the ADA on the Internet Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal October 16, 2000

Assess for all Jonathan Bick The Daily Deal September 27, 2000

Web Site Tenant Rights – similar to rights associated with outsourcing agreements

Web Site Tenant Right Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal April 19, 1999

FTC – deceptive trade practices

Trademark – domain name vs. trademark matters

Unsolicited fax prohibition laws – technology merger for emails and faxes

Patent infringement – business process patents

Adapting Process Patent to Cyberspace Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal November 19, 1998

Tax – State local nexus issues and Federal / International income sourcing issues

Implementing E-Commerce Tax Policy Jonathan Bick International Legal Strategy September 2000

Content rights – work for hire

11. Trademark names and e-linking are subject to legal scrutiny

12. Internet banking is legal

13. Unencrypted Internet communication is not usually protected by attorney-client privilege

14. Internet business methods can be patented

15. License don't sell-Internet domain names

16. Internet privacy rights are scarce

17. E-commerce data collection is subject to legal limitations

18. The Constitution limits a court's ability to make an Internet site owner subject to an out-of-state suit

19. Internet repossessions are legal

Internet service providers (ISPs) are protected from legal liability for certain actions of their clients

III. January 29 Application of Uniquely Internet Laws

Hand in copy of the guided research paper outline for review.

Why Should the Internet Be Any Different? Jonathan Bick Pace Law Review Fall 1998

Trespass Theory Poses Threat to Internet Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal August 21, 2000

Digital signatures- Federal law, 30 + state laws and non-US law

COPPA – contact with children

New Rules Aim to Protect Children’s Privacy on the Internet Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal April 17, 2000

Spamming – state laws

Special laws – LA anti-Internet gambling stops e-internet real estate transaction

On-Line Deals Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal April 14, 1999

Tax – moratorium

The Tax Man in Cyberspace Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal August 21, 2000

21. Protect domain names by securing trademark rights first

22. An Internet service agreement has some standard elements. .

23. Legal notices that are properly placed on a web site will minimize or eliminate legal liability

24. Changes in trademark laws have resulted in changes in domain name dispute outcomes

25. Internet telemedicine patients have fewer rights than traditional patients

26. Applying suitability legal concept to e-stock brokers

27. Current laws do not fully protect the privacy of information in the possession of an Internet service provider

28. Workplace privacy is nearly nonexistent

29. The Internet may soon be deemed a public accommodation for the visually impaired

30. Personal jurisdiction are in flux with respect to the Internet

IV. February 5 Business Advice

Outlines Returned with comments (not graded).

How Is Internet Coming Into Play? Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal August 14, 2000

The Electronic Commerce Landscape Jonathan Bick June 28, 1999

Beyond Business Plans Jonathan Bick The Daily Deal March 18, 2000

Avoid An Identity Crisis Jonathan Bick The Daily Deal October 19, 1999

license don’t sell domain names

TheLegal Advantages of Licensing Domain Names Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal August 24, 1999

use Digital Millennium Copy Right Act to limit infringement liability

Applying Copyright Law on the Internet Jonathan Bick New Jersey Law Journal July 26, 1999

use demonstrations references as part of Internet agreements

use provisional patents – low cost protection

Patents Are Important for Internet Business Methods Jonathan Bick New jersey Law Journal December 14, 1998

get trademarks with domain names

limit litigation – consider activity issues and physical location issues

Internet and Parental Legal Liability Jonathan Bick New Jersey Family Lawyer June 1999

tax considers - locations of people, property, real estate

Internet Access Service Not Subject to Sales Tax Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal June 19, 1997

treating web site contacts like software agreements

risk unknown – use contact indemnification

limit liability form e-visitors – use exit notice

Due Diligence for ‘Dot-Com’ Deals Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal May 18 1999

31. The Internet can provide legal notice

32. Consider European comparative advertising legal limitations when preparing Internet advertisements

33. Commercial Internet web site content is protected by the First Amendment

34. Internet auctions result in legal contracts

35. Internet transactions can result in "choice-of-law" difficulties.

36. U.S. legal limitations apply to international Internet services

37. International law limits use of Internet digital signatures

38. State laws limit physicians' use of the Internet

39. European Internet signature legal limitations differ among countries

40. International laws extend Internet service providers' content liability

V. February 12 GUEST SPEAKER

Submit guided research paper draft

General Advice and Introduction to the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

Consider if transaction publishing, telecommunication, broadcasting

Electronic Commerce Revisited Kenneth Scott Stanford Law Review May 1999

Agenda 2000: Internet Jason Nissse The Independent January 2000


41. Most proposed Internet legislation is not likely to be implemented

42. Digital certificates do not usually provide significant legal rights

43. Internet loans are lawful

44. Internet insurance addresses new risk

45. Internet wagering is generally illegal

46. Some Internet content is legally free to use

47. Internet nondisclosure agreements have unique features

48. Internet investment advisers require special legal precautions

49. Taxation of European e-commerce differs among countries

50. Using Internet materials may increase legal risk

VI. February 19 Start up

Feedback given on guided research paper draft (mandatory)

A Formation

Agreement for Exchange of Confidential Information

B Funding

1. Private

2. Public

C Physical Assets

D Web site formation agreements

Progressing Towards a Uniform Commercial Code for Electronic Commerce Maureen O’Rourke Berkeley Technology Law Journal Spring 1999

51. E-business is particularly susceptible to nine legal perils

52. International program license agreements are important for e-commerce outside of the U.S

53. The responsibility for content control by Internet service providers varies in Europe

54. Some countries legally protect personal data stored on the Internet

55. Worldwide Internet e-data legal protection varies

56. Internet signatures can be legally acceptable

57. Internet patents are subject to legal testing

58. Internet proxies are lawful

59. Internet intellectual property transfers must apply state law ...

60. Internet message encryption laws diverge

VII. February 26 Start up

Schedule feedback meetings

Business Law – Electronic Commerce – digital signatures Kalama Lui- Kwan 1999

Intellectual Property




Web site agreements

Internet site terms of use agreement

International customer agreement

Zippo Manufacturing Company v. Zippo Dot Com 952 F. Sup. 1119 January 16, 1997

Price Water House Coopers v. Cedar resources 1999 Fl. App. Lexis 12141 September 10, 1999

61. Internet chemical purchases are subject to recipients' jurisdictional rules

62. International e-privacy laws are primarily voluntary

63. International e-copyright laws are in flux

64. Clicking "I agree" has different meanings around the world ...

65. Global e-buyers beware

66. International e-broadcasting legal rules are country specific..

67. Special legal liability is associated with e-promotions

68. Typical domain name cease-and-desist letter and an appropriate reply

69. Reply to domain name cease-and-desist letter

70. FCC has begun to regulate the Internet

77. Internet legal evidence results in new legal difficulties

78. Promotion agency agreements for Internet services are advisable

79. e-mail is legally discoverable

80. Internet crimes and violations are emerging

VIII. March 4 Growth

Submit joint article draft (graded)

Legal risks associated with e-commerce

Privacy Policy

Revenue – five general e-business models

1. The Internet presence model, which involves no direct sales or advertising

2. The advertiser supported ore sponsored model – nothing for sale

3. The feed based or subscription model – fee for access

4. efficiency or effective gains model – firm use Web to decrease cost

5. Online store front – direct sale of good or service over the web


1. Promotional … coupons

2. Advertising

3. Alliances

ACLU v. Reno (US District Court only) February 1, 1999

Home Shopping Network v. Coupco 1998 U.S. Dist Lexis 2111 February 27, 1998

71. Selling wine via the Internet is lawful

72. E-commerce infrastructure builder contracts require special elements

73. Forty-three state laws recognize digital signatures

74. The Federal Trade Commission has begun to regulate the Internet

75. The Internet is a litigation tool

76. The Internet is an evidentiary source

77. Internet legal evidence results in new legal difficulties

78. Promotion agency agreements for Internet services are advisable

79. e-mail is legally discoverable

80. Internet crimes and violations are emerging

IX. March 11 Growth

Submit final draft of joint article

Guest Speaker …

Jonathan Bick will be speaking at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Advanced Computer and Internet Law Institute on March 8th and 9th. v. Barnes and Nobel 1999 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18660 December 1, 1999

GTE New media Services v. Ameritech 21 F. Sup 2d 27 September 28, 1998

81. Reducing e-law risks is possible

82. liability insurance contracts address legal risk

83. Copying, printing, and redistributing e-data are generally lawful

84. How can I protect my name on the Internet? Register it with many variations

85. Additional legal activity may be required to protect certain e-names

86. What can be done if someone links to a web site without permission?

87. Using the Internet to find Internet law is easy but may be inaccurate

88. Legally assigning Internet content usually requires a customized contract

89. Internet hijacking is unlawful without consent

90. Unauthorized framing is usually unlawful

No Class March 18

X. March 25 Mature / Steady state

Select presentation times

A Outsourcing

B Covenant not to compete agreements

C Letter of Credit

Sprint v. Deangelo 12 F. Supp. 2d 1188 June 30, 1998

Letters of Credit and Electronic Commerce R. David Waitaker Idaho Law Review 1995

Due Diligence for ‘Dot-Com’ Deals Jonathan Bick New York Law Journal May 18 1999

The Legal Significance of PINs in Banking Clement Shum Hong Kong Law Journal December 2000

91. Image (IMG) links normally increase legal liability

92. Offering securities through the Internet has legal limitations

93. E-notices help protect copyrights

94. Internet publicity releases help to limit legal liability

95. E-content writer's contract may be a work-for-hire agreement

96. Internet employment services agreements usually protects one party

97. Securities brokers' obligations apply to clients' Internet trading

98. WebTrust seal providers are liable to the public

99. Obscenity and indecency e-content regulation on the Internet is in flux

100. Some public access to the Internet is legally limited

XI. April 4 Mature / Steady state





State and Local




Alternatives to taxation

No Action

Bureaucratic action

Change enforcement

New rules and regulations

Legislative action


Revenue sharing

Internet Service providers as tax collectors



Intellectual property



Sales to governmental entities

Bidding via the Internet

Protesting contract awards

California Marine Cleaning v. US US Court of Claims October 1998

101.Taxes apply to Internet transactions

XII. April 8 Termination

Acquired and being acquired




Winding down

XIII. April 15 Special Topics and Student Presentations

Class Presentations of Guided Research (10 minutes each) … peer critique

XIV. April 22 Special Topics and Student Presentations

Class Presentations of Guided Research (10 minutes each) … peer critique

Tuesday April 27 to Thursday April 29 Reading Period

Friday April 30 to Wednesday May 12 Exam Period

Friday, May 28 Graduation

Final papers must be handed in to the office of the registrar and are due on April 22 which is the last day of class. Please attach the first page of each case and /or article cited.