2015 Syllabus

CPSC 183: Law, Technology, & Culture
Brad Rosen (brad.rosen{at}yale.edu)
Fall 2015: M W, 4:00-5:15, LC 102
TAs: emily.rosenberg, geoffrey.shaw [rest TBA] {at} yale.edu

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.   Feel free to review the syllabi from previous years: 20092010, 20112012, 2013, and 2014.  These should give you a flavor of what the class will ultimately look like.

If you have questions prior to shopping period, please email me directly.  (Strongly encouraged)

NOTE:  Attendance in this class is not optional.  This class is not a gut.  The reviews lie.  The cake is a lie.  There is no spoon.  Tceles B Hsup.  Do not taunt happy fun ball.  You have to burn the rope.

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)  [Inappropriate Title Omitted; See Class Discussion] – 9/2


2)  The Past and Future of Cyberlaw – 9/4

3) The Past and Future of Cyberspace – 9/19

4) What is law? (Dudley don’t hurt me…) – 9/16

5) “15 Minutes of Fame”  – 9/21

6) Introduction to Digital Copyright and Fair Use – 9/23

7) Fair Use Part Deux and the DMCA – 9/28


8) Fair Use and Remix Culture – 9/30

9) Copyright and Disruptive Technology – 10/5

10) P2P Law and Piracy – 10/7

11) Intro to Free Speech – 10/12

 12) Defamation and Hate Speech – 10/14

13) Anonymity & Online Identity  – 10/19 

14)  DRM and Anti-circumvention  – 10/26  NOTE:  The Librarian [sic] of Congress has not released the 2015 DMCA exemptions.  As a result, we are going to mostly talk about the 2012 exemptions and the proposed 2015 exemptions, but you should expect the 2015 exemptions to be out literally any day now.

15) Free Software, Patents, and Copyleft – 10/28

16) Censorship I — Leaks and Creeps – 11/2

27) Censorship II & Great Walls – 11/4

18) Search & Seizure in the Digital Age – 11/9


19) Privacy in the Web 2.0 World – 11/11

20) Innovation, Appliancization, Education and Knowledge – 11/16

21)  Wikipedia, Collaboration, and Network Effects – 11/18

22)  Net Neutrality – 11/30


23)  Online Participation – Memes, Communities, and “Citizen Journalism” (12/2)

24) EULAs, Clickwrap, And Other Crap No One Reads


 25)  Where are we going?  (Are we in a hand basket??)