2013 Syllabus

CPSC 183: Law, Technology, & Culture
Brad Rosen (brad.rosen@yale.edu)
Fall 2013: M W, 4:00-5:15, WLH 119

CPSC 183 is a class that is open to non-majors.  You do not need a background in tech or computer science to enjoy the class.  The class offers some project options for CS majors as well.  

As a general rule, we will adapt the syllabus to take into account current events.  We may need to add supplemental readings if breaking news changes the topics being discussed.   Please review the syllabi from previous years: 200920102011 and 2012.  These should give you a flavor of what the class will ultimately look like.

Please note: the course topics and speakers are subject to change as the semester progresses and due to speaker availability.   After the start of the semester, we will post the provisional syllabus here, but you should pay attention to announcements in class and check back here in case there are changes.


1.) I Spy With My Little Eye Multi-Acre Computing Cluster Complete With Fiber Optic Connections – 8/28

[Note: Time will be set aside to discuss an overview of the course, as well as grading and what you can expect.  These readings are to stimulate a class discussion.]

2.)  The Past and Future of Cyberlaw – 8/30

3.) The Past and Future of Cyberspace – 9/4

  • Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It (Chapters 1, 2 – p. 11-35)
  • U.S. v. Morris (Concentrate mainly on the “Facts” section, don’t worry if you don’t understand some of the more complicated issues in the “Discussion” section)
  • U.S. v. Nosal  (en banc)  (read Kozinski’s majority opinion, Skim dissent)
  • Jack L. Goldsmith, Against Cyberanarchy, 65 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1199 (1998) [excerpt]

4.) What is law? (Dudley don’t hurt me…) – 9/9

5.) “15 Minutes of Fame”  – 9/12


6.) Introduction to Digital Copyright and Fair Use – 9/16

7.) Fair Use Part Deux and the DMCA – 9/18

8.) Fair Use and Remix Culture – 9/23

9.) P2P Law and Piracy – 9/25

10.) Free Software, Patents, and Copyleft (9/30)

11.)  DRM and Anticircumvention (10/2)

12.) Intro to Free Speech – 10/7


13.) Defamation and Hate Speech – 10/9


14.) Censorship I — Leaks and Creeps – 10/14

15.) Censorship II & Great Walls – 10/16

16.) Search & Seizure in the Digital Age – 10/28

17.) Privacy – Who Can You Trust – 10/30

18.) Privacy In A Web 2.0 World – 11/4

19.) Wikipedia, Collaboration, and Network Effects – 11/6

20) Anonymity & Online Identity  – 11/18

21) Net Neutrality – 11/20


22) Memes & Online Communities – 12/2

23) The Future of Education and Knowledge (PLEASE SKIM LAST YEAR’S READINGS ON “INNOVATION v. APPLIANCIZATION”) – 12/4

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