Rutgers: Spring 2005

Rutgers School of Law - Newark

Fall 2005 Semester

Internet Law Seminar Course Outline and Schedule


August 25                         I            Introduction to the Internet and Internet Law.


1."Why Should the Internet Be Any Different" Pace Law Review (Fall 1998) Please note this and other articles which were written by Jonathan Bick may be found on at


2. Let’s Get Technical (Course Materials 1)


3. Current Internet Laws -- see        (Course Materials 2)

4.  Pending Internet Law Snap Shot -- see (Course Materials 3)

Review Text Topics … Chapters 1 - 10 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


Start research logs and outlines


September 1                     II            Elements of electronic commerce



1. Is your Client a Spammer? New Jersey Law Journal October 18, 2004


2.Franchise Law Applies to Internet New Jersey Law Journal September 20, 2004


3. Legality of Internet Wine Sales in Flux New Jersey Law Journal July 19, 2004


4.Granholm v. Heald, 125 S. Ct. 1885 (U.S., 2005) -- State laws allowed in-state wineries to make direct sales to customers. They force out-of-state wineries to make sales only through wholesalers and retailers at greater expense. The wineries contended that the regulatory schemes discriminated against interstate commerce. States argued that the schemes were necessary to prevent underage persons from purchasing wine and to promote the collection of taxes. The Court held that the state laws discriminated against interstate commerce. It also found that the discrimination was not authorized by U.S. Const. amend XXI, § 2.


5. e-Credit Card Contract  The Internet Newsletter November 2001 volume 6, Number 8

American Lawyer Media


6. Purchase of Medications Online is Lawful New Jersey Law Journal April 9, 2004


7. E-Commerce Insurance New Jersey Law Journal August 19, 2002


8. E-Outsourcing New Jersey Law Journal October 29, 2001


9. Funding e-Firms The Daily Deal October 23, 2001 Tuesday


Review Text Topics … Chapters 11 – 20


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


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


Hand in copy of research log review (optional)

September 8                     III          Electronic commerce



1. AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND THE INTERNET Copyright (c) 2000 Albany Law Journal of Science & Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology 2000

10 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 205


2. "Due Diligence for 'Dot-Com' Deals", Due Diligence New York Law Journal, May 18, 1999


3."Coping With COPPA New Jersey Law Journal December 29, 2003


4. How e-Commerce Laws Can Increase the Digital Divide NATOA Journal of Municipal Telecommunication Policy December 2000.


5.e-Dissemination The Internet Newsletter October 2001 volume 6, Number 7 American Lawyer Media -- Securities Law Avoiding the Violations Risked by Companies That Use the Web to Disseminate Information


6. Funding e-Firms The Daily Deal October 23, 2001 Copyright 2001 The Deal L.L.C.


7. Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm. v. Parsons Tech., Inc.Civil Action No. 3:97-CV-2859-H

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, DALLAS DIVISION 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 813  -- Defendant offered a computer software program that included legal forms along with instructions. Plaintiffs, the unauthorized practice of law committee, brought suit alleging that the selling of defendant's program violated Texas' unauthorized practice of law statute. The court granted plaintiffs' motion. The court found that the program violated the unauthorized practice of law statute because the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds involves the practice of law.


 Vacated by, Remanded by: Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm. v. Parsons Tech., Inc., 179 F.3d 956, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 14234 (5th Cir. Tex. 1999) -- Plaintiff moved to enjoin defendant corporation from selling and distributing software programs entitled "Quicken Family Lawyer." The district court granted the motion. The court vacated the injunction and judgment. The state legislature, subsequent to the filing of defendant's appeal, had enacted an amendment to Tex. Govt. Code Ann. § 81.101 (1998). The amendment, H.R. 1507, 76th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Tex. 1999), stated that the practice of law did not include the sale or distribution of computer software if the products stated clearly and conspicuously that the products were not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.


8.“Internet Merchant Service Agreements” September 2001 E-Commerce Supplement American Law Media


Review Text Topics … Chapters 21 – 30


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



Hand in copy of the guided research paper outline for review

September 15                   IV         Electronic contracts


1, Viable E-signature Options The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter

July 2004


2.UCC section 2B (November 1,1997 Draft) … first page included … see


3. La Mar Hosiery Mills v. Credit & Commodity Corp.,28 Misc. 2d. 765; 216 N.Y.S. 2d

186) - guarantee in the form of a telegram satisfies State of Frauds' writing and signature requirements


4.People v.Hagan, 556 N.E.2d 1224, (Ill. App. 1990) - comparing fax and telegram technology


5. Brian Jackson v. Encyclopaedia Britannica Education Corp. 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

571 (1-22-1996) - application of writing and signature requirements


6. People v. Avila, 770 P.2d 1330 (Col. App 1988) - court holds that data stored on a computer disk satisfies "written instrument" requirement of forgery statute


7. ProCD, Inc. v. Matthew Zeidenberg and Silken Mountain Web Services, 86 F.3d 1447 (7th Cir. 1996) point and click agreements


8.Compuserve v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257 (6th Cir. 1996) - point and click contract terms


9. Cal. Gov. Code Section 16.5 (1995) - digital signatures are ok when specifically authorized


Review Text Topics … Chapters 31 – 40


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


Outlines returned with comments (not graded )

September 22                   V           Miscellaneous e-topics



1. Internet Charity Registration Requirements New Jersey Law Journal May 9, 2005


2. Inheriting Deceased's E-mail New Jersey Law Journal March 7, 2005


3. Matrimonial Lawyers Have a New Tool New Jersey Law Journal January 3, 2005


4. RIAA Suits The Internet Newsletter September 26, 2003


5. The Recording Industry Association of America Sues Its Members' Customers New Jersey Law Journal November 3, 2003


6. Top HR E-Laws New Jersey Law Journal June 9, 2003


7. Internet Coming into Play - Internet and Real Estate New York Law Journal, August 14, 2000


Review Text Topics … Chapters 41 – 50


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


Hand in list of target publications

September 29                   VI          Intellectual property protection





Users employed their free software primarily to download copyrighted files. Software distributors contended that they could not be liable for the users' infringements since the software was capable of substantial non-infringing uses. The U.S. Supreme Court found distributors liable for contributory infringement, regardless of the software's lawful uses, based on evidence that the software was distributed with object of promoting infringement. 


2. Trademark Law Shapes Internet Pop-up Ads New Jersey Law Journal June 13, 2005


3. Exploration of Trademarks on the Internet New Jersey Law Journal December 8, 2003


4. Copyrighting e-Content New Jersey Law Journal July 22, 2002


5. Beethoven.Com LLC., et al., Petitioners v. Librarian of Congress, Respondent, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, et al., Intervenors 394 F.3d 939


Copyright owners challenged Librarian of Congress right to set copyright license rates for web-casters based on Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP).  Prior to CARP petitioner  negotiated agreements, which were submitted to the CARP as evidence of market valuation. The CARP rejected most of the rates in agreements.  The court held that the non-participant owners lacked standing to challenge the Librarian's order because they were not parties to the CARP proceedings. The court found it proper to vacate the determination of the effective date for the payment of royalty rates.  The court upheld the Librarian's order because the Librarian offered a facially plausible explanation for the determination based on the record.


6. “A Terse Guide to the e-Application of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act” Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal, June 2001, 27 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L.J. ___;


7. e-Publications New Jersey Law Journal, November 20, 2000


8. Spammers Should Know Their Source New Jersey Law Journal April 11, 2005


9. Protecting Internet Communications New Jersey Law Journal January 17, 2005


Submit guided research paper draft ( mandatory … graded )


Review Text Topics … Chapters 51 – 60


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

October 6                        VII         The tax man cometh to cyberspace



1. Implementing e-Commerce Tax Policy, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology Volume 13, Number 3 Summer 2000 13 Harv. J. Law & Tec. ___. Spring 2000.


2. "Internet Access Service Not Subject to Sales Tax", NYLJ, June 19, 1997 page 5 (Course Materials 4)


3. Licensing Domain Name New York Law Journal, August 24, 1999


4. Internet Tax Freedom Act. Act  Oct. 21, 1998,  P.L. 105-277, Div C, Title XI, 112 Stat. 2681-719; Nov. 28, 2001,  P.L. 107-75, § 2, 115 Stat. 703; Dec. 3, 2004,  P.L. 108-435, §§ 2-6A, 118 Stat. 2615 (effective 11/1/2003, as provided by § 8 of such Act) (Course Materials 5)



Review Text Topics … Chapters 61 – 70


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


Feedback given on guided research paper draft (mandatory)



October 13                      VIII        Online crime


1.“Avoiding e-Security Violations” NJLJ July 2, 2001


2. A Hole in the CAN-SPAM Act New Jersey Law Journal May 10, 2004


3. Circumventing the CAN-SPAM Act New Jersey Law Journal March 5, 2004


4. e-Respondeat Superior New Jersey Law Journal August 26, 2002


5. People v. Avila, 770 P.2d 1330 (Col. App 1988) - court holds that data stored on a computer disk satisfies "written instrument" requirement of forgery statute





Review Text Topics … Chapters 71 – 80


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


Schedule feedback meetings

October 20                      IX         Internet speech


1. Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (U.S., 1997)

The Supreme Court has rejected attempts to extend the broadcast regime to the Internet.


2. American Libraries Ass'n v. Pataki, 969 F. Supp. 160  (S.D.N.Y. June 20, 1997).


Plaintiffs filed an action challenging N.Y. Penal Law § 235.21(3), which was an attempt to keep people from transmitting material harmful to minors via the Internet. The basis of seeking relief was that the Act burdened free speech contrary to U.S. Const. amend. I and also burdened interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause.


3. Political Spam New Jersey Law Journal February 7, 2005


4. In Dow Jones & Co. v. Gutnick, Australia High Court [2002] H.C.A. 56

The Australian High Court held that Australian courts have jurisdiction over a claim of defamation based on material that was placed on the Internet outside of Australian borders.'Dow%20Jones%20&%20Co.%20v.%20Gutnick' (last visited 8/1/05)


5. E-Broadcast New Jersey Law Journal July 22, 2003


Review Text Topics … Chapters 81 – 90


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


October 27                      X           Cyber-torts



1. Cubby, Inc. v. Compuserve, Inc., 776 F. Supp. 135  (S.D.N.Y. 1991)


The court though a defamation and not a copyright action, addressed the issue of what knowledge should be attributed to an online service provider with respect to the allegedly defamatory comments posted on the Internet  and made available through CompuServe


A database operator brought an  action against another database owner for libel, business disparagement, and unfair competition arising from carrying in its database a publication containing allegedly defamatory statements about plaintiffs.


2. Client Internet Services Expose Firms to New Liability New Jersey Law Journal September 20, 2004


3.e-TrespassNew York Law Journal, August 21, 2000


4. eBay, Inc. v. Bidder's Edge, Inc., 100 F. Supp. 2d 1058 (N.D. Cal. 2000).


An internet-based trading site, brought suit against an internet-based aggregation site, seeking to  prevent use of an automated querying program. Nine causes of action: trespass, false advertising, federal and state trademark dilution, computer fraud and abuse, unfair competition, misappropriation, interference with prospective economic advantage and unjust enrichment.


5. Pop-up Advertisement Litigation Strategies New Jersey Law Journal July 19, 2004


6. Spam Class Actions New Jersey Law Journal May 5, 2003


7. Stop Bad e-Publicity New Jersey Law Journal January 28, 2002



Review Text Topics … Chapters 91 –100


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. Web Trust 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


November 3                     XI          Electronic mail and data privacy


1.United State Privacy Act U.S.C. 5 USCS § 552a (2005) (Course Material 7)


The Privacy Act prohibits nonconsensual disclosure of personal information, but is subject to numerous exemptions. One of these, the routine use exemption, permits nonconsensual disclosure of personal information where the purpose for collection is compatible with its use by the federal agency.


2. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CPA) 18 U.S.C. Section 2703 (Course Material 8)


With respect to stored e-mail, see 18 U.S.C. 2703(a), (b) (2000) (authorizing, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), subpoenas for e-mail that has been sitting on a server for longer than 180 days without being opened and for e-mail that the recipient has accessed and stored on an outside server for any length of time). If the information is stored with a service not available to the general public (e.g., one run by an employer), then the government may obtain the stored information (content or identifying) simply upon a request. See 2703(a)(1)-(3). With respect to Internet Service Provider logs (authorizing access to these records if the government alleges that the records are "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation").


3. McVeigh v. Cohen, 983 F. Supp. 215, 216-17 (D.D.C. 1998)


Finding that U.S. Navy violated plaintiff's rights under ECPA, APA, Navy policy, and Fourth and Fifth Amendments by intercepting e-mail in which plaintiff referred to his homosexuality.


4. Internet Monitoring New York Law Journal July 2, 2002


5. Lawful E- Medical Communications by Physicians  New Jersey Medicine November 2002


6. e-HIPAA New Jersey Law Journal May 27, 2002


Review Text Topics … Chapters 101


101.Taxes apply to Internet transactions


Schedule second feedback meetings



November 10                   XII         Internet "spin" on jurisdictional, regulatory and other issues



1. E-Land Transfer New York Law Journal, April 14, 1999


2. E Self Help New Jersey Law Journal September 30, 2002


3. Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo DOT Com, 952 F. Supp. 1119  (1997)


The court created a sliding scale of purposeful availment based on the interactivity of the defendant's Internet activities.


A complaint alleging trademark dilution, infringement and false designation. A motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, was made. Court found purposeful availment because Defendant had contracted with numerous individuals and Internet access providers in Pennsylvania and the intended object of the transactions had been the downloading of electronic messages that formed the basis of suit in Pennsylvania.


4. Top HR E-Laws New Jersey Law Journal June 9, 2003


5. E-Cyber Squatting New Jersey Law Journal December 2, 2002


6. Patient e-Data Law New Jersey Law Journal March 25, 2002


November 17                   XIII       Special topics and begin Class Presentations of Guided Research (10 minutes each) … peer critique



November 22                   XIIII      Special topics and begin Class Presentations of Guided Research (10 minutes each) … peer critique


Final papers must be handed in on the last day of Class



Lets Get Technical Course Materials 1

The Internet is a global network of computers. To achieve this each computer connected to the Internet must have a unique address. Internet addresses are in the form where xxx must be a number from 0 - 255. This address is known as an Internet Protocol ( IP address).

The picture below illustrates two computers connected to the Internet; your computer with IP address 1.2 and another computer with IP address 3.4.

Computer 1  Known as 1.2


 Computer 2 known as 3.4



When using a dial-up to connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP), usually assigned a temporary IP address for the duration of the dial-in session. If you connect to the Internet from a local area network (LAN) your computer might have a permanent IP address or it might obtain a temporary one from a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. In any case, if you are connected to the Internet, your computer has a unique IP address.

Protocol Stacks and Packets

Once a computer is connected to the Internet and has a unique address it can send and receive signals from other similarly enabled computers. For example  if computer  want to send "Hello" to To do so "Hello" must be changed into electronic signals, transmitted via the Internet, then translated back. This process is accomplished using TCP/IP protocol stack.  because of the two major communication protocols used. The TCP/IP stack looks like this:


Application Protocols Layer

Transmission Control Protocol Layer

Internet Protocol Layer

Hardware Layer

Diagram 2



Networking Infrastructure

The Infrastructure is the physical component of the Internet. It may have many forms. Diagram 3



Internet Infrastructure

Internet communications are sent from a sending computer to an ISP server to a local backbone server to a backbone server to a local backbone server to an ISP server to a recipient computer. The Internet backbone is made up of many large networks which interconnect with each other. These large networks are known as Network Service Providers or NSPs. Some of the large NSPs are UUNet and IBM.


How messages are controlled

The information used to get communications to their destinations are contained in routing tables kept by each router connected to the Internet.


Each router knows which IP addresses they use. The router usually doesn't know what IP addresses are 'above' it. When a packet arrives at a router, the router examines the IP address put there by the IP protocol layer on the originating computer. The router checks it's routing table. If the network containing the IP address is found, the packet is sent to that network. If the network containing the IP address is not found, then the router sends the packet on a default route, usually up the backbone hierarchy to the next router.

Domain Names and Address Resolution

The Domain Name Service or DNS a distributed database which keeps track of computer's names and their corresponding IP addresses on the Internet.

Many computers connected to the Internet host part of the DNS database and the software that allows others to access it. These computers are known as DNS servers. No DNS server contains the entire database; they only contain a subset of it. If a DNS server does not contain the domain name requested by another computer, the DNS server re-directs the requesting computer to another DNS server.






















Application Protocols: HTTP and the World Wide Web

One of the most commonly used services on the Internet is the World Wide Web (WWW). The application protocol that makes the web work is Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP. HTTP is the protocol that web browsers and web servers use to communicate with each other over the Internet


 Note: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is not HTTP it is a web page maker language.

When you type a URL into a web browser, this is what happens:

  1. If the URL contains a domain name, the browser first connects to a domain name server and retrieves the corresponding IP address for the web server.
  2. The web browser connects to the web server and sends an HTTP request (via the protocol stack) for the desired web page.
  3. The web server receives the request and checks for the desired page. If the page exists, the web server sends it. If the server cannot find the requested page, it will send an HTTP 404 error message. (404 means 'Page Not Found' as anyone who has surfed the web probably knows.)
  4. The web browser receives the page back and the connection is closed.
  5. The browser then parses through the page and looks for other page elements it needs to complete the web page. These usually include images, applets, etc.
  6. For each element needed, the browser makes additional connections and HTTP requests to the server for each element.
  7. When the browser has finished loading all images, applets, etc. the page will be completely loaded in the browser window.

Transmission Control Protocol

TCP is responsible for routing application protocols to the correct application on the destination computer. TCP is located under the application layer in the protocol stack is the TCP layer. When applications open a connection to another computer on the Internet, the messages they send (using a specific application layer protocol) get passed down the stack to the TCP layer. To accomplish this, port numbers are used. Ports can be thought of as separate channels on each computer. For example, you can surf the web while reading e-mail. This is because these two applications (the web browser and the mail client) used different port numbers. When a packet arrives at a computer and makes its way up the protocol stack, the TCP layer decides which application receives the packet based on a port number.


Internet Protocol

IP's job is to send and route packets to other computers.  IP packets are independent entities and may arrive out of order or not at all. It is TCP's job to make sure packets arrive and are in the correct order. Diagram 9