Spring 2015 Course Schedule

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

Meets: 09:00 AM - 10:50 AM (T) - Room 314

Enrolled: 6 / Limit: 18

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 intellectual property (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, deepen and extend the material encountered in Contracts and Sales courses, and 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 associated business models and 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, publication, and subscription; 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; linking and affiliate agreements; and policies restricting expression and conduct on Web sites (including social media sites).

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

The examination will be an open-book take-home paper of 3,500 to 4,000 words on an assigned topic to be distributed on Tuesday, April 21 (in our final class session)—and due by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5 (a week from the beginning 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, Legal Guide to Web & Software Development (Nolo: 5th ed. 2007)

* This book is currently out of print, but several copies will be on reserve in the Pence Law Library.

Any recent statutory supplement containing Uniform Commercial Code Articles 1 and 2 - for example, Chomsky et al., Selected Commercial Statutes for Sales and Contracts Courses, 2014 edition (West).

You might already have such a book from your Contracts and/or Sales course.

Statutory supplements and other materials containing copies of Articles 1 and 2 (for example, the Uniform Laws Annotated volumes, at call number F879.A45 U5) are also on reserve.

The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, available at uniformlaws.org/shared/docs/computer_information_transactions/ucita_final_02.pdf. Supplemental materials (to be posted on the course's Web page during the semester).

First Class Readings

Before our first class (on Tuesday, January 13), please read Supplement 1, which is available on the course Web page, and consider the issues raised on its second page (“Assignment for Our First Class Session”).