Spring 2012 Course Schedule

E-Commerce Law & Drafting (LAW-846-001)

Meets: 09:00 AM - 10:50 AM (T) - Room 524

Enrolled: 23 / Limit: 45

Administrator Access


There are no notices at this time.


This course presents practical contractual and licensing techniques designed to minimize the legal, technological, and cultural uncertainties facing parties in transactions that involve digitized information (text, music, images, video, software) and/or digital methods of communication (e-mail, Web sites).

Our detailed examinations of both traditional and recently-developed provisions, and the extensive drafting-issues checklist/“toolkit” that we will develop over the course of the semester, should be of continuing professional and personal relevance to anyone contemplating preparing, revising, or negotiating contracts or licenses of any type.

Actual and model documents analyzed during the semester, along with their underpinnings in the substantive laws of contracts and of intellectual property, include:

*beta test, nondisclosure, and noncompetition agreements;

*“work for hire” agreements, and copyright and patent assignments;

*content licenses, both traditional and “open source”;

*agreements for content distribution and publication;

*Web site “terms and conditions”;

*privacy releases and privacy policies;

*software and Web site development agreements and licenses;

*agreements with Internet service providers, Web hosts, and domain name registrars; and

*policies restricting expression and conduct on Web sites, and (for employees) on computer, Internet, and e-mail systems.

Readings will include a Nolo Press manual; selected caselaw; statutory and regulatory provisions; and material from law reviews, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites.

The examination will be an open-book take-home paper of 4,500 to 5,000 words-- on a specific topic to be distributed in class on Tuesday, April 17 (our final class session)—that is due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 30 (the first day of exam period).

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Stephen Fishman, Web & Software Development: A Legal Guide (Nolo: 5th ed. 2007)

** Because the University Bookstore has not always reliably obtained appropriate/enough/any copies of the required books on time, you should consider other (including online) means of acquiring this book.

The $30 fee for the initial set of supplementary handouts, which will first be available from the Course Packet Distribution Center (window outside Room 465) during the week of January 2, covers the cost of all of the course's handouts (the remainder of which will be distributed in class during the semester).

First Class Readings

For our first class session (Tuesday, January 10), please read the Course Memorandum and Handout 1 in the initial set of supplementary material available from Room 465.