Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Guide To Internet Legal Landmarks

Michael L. Rustad and Diane D'Angelo, both of Suffolk University Law School, have published The Path of Internet Law: An Annotated Guide to Legal Landmarks as Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 11-18. Here is the abstract.

In the classic holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a disillusioned George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) makes a wish that he had never lived. Clarence, the Angel in training, grants George his wish and shows him how life in his hometown would have been different if he had never been born. Our Article asks how the law of intellectual property and legal research have been reshaped by the creation of the Internet. This Article provides guideposts for the best legal resources for Internet law to assist busy lawyers and legal academics in tracing the past, present, and future path of Internet Law. This Article unfolds in three parts: Part I traces the path of the history of the Internet as a technology. Part II is a brief timeline of Internet case law and statutory developments for Internet-related intellectual property (IP) law developments. This part of the article highlights intellectual property, but our broader point is that Internet law illuminates every substantive and procedural aspect of U.S. law. During this formative period, the Internet reshaped the path of each branch of the law of intellectual property. Part III presents an annotated guide to the best research resources to assist academics and policymakers in tracing the future path of Internet Law. The future path of Internet law will be less U.S. centric, therefore we review the best available sources for tracing the path of Internet law in a global setting. Finally, we conclude by hazarding some predictions based upon the “sibylline leaves” gathered from extant Internet case law and statutory developments about the future of Internet law.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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