Anyone who has ever attended law school in the United States knows what legal clinics are about. In recent years, clinical work with students in law school settings has been gaining momentum worldwide. Law faculties in Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, India, Japan and Israel (to name a few) already incorporate clinical activities within the fabric of their more traditional curriculum. Some observers even speak of the emergence of a global movement. And yet, there is still a lot of work to be done. Even in Europe, some folks would assume that “legal clinics” are places where sick laws are being admitted to find cure to their maladies… In Germany, where I currently practice and teach, none of the few clinics around focuses on technology or Internet law.
This, however, is about to change soon. We are happy to announce that the Internet Law Clinic at the Humboldt University in Berlin will start operations this fall (Google Translate link to the homepage is available here.) The clinic will offer law students theoretical and practical training in various Internet and technology law topics with a strong emphasis on digital IP, policy issues and the operation of law on and within cyberspace. There are plenty of fascinating topics on the agenda, including software and open licensing of digital goods, IP implications of three dimensional printing technology, the debate over new neighboring rights to online media publishers, copyright protection to software interface components, online privacy, e-commerce, private international law on the Internet, technological protection measures and DRMS, copyright exceptions and free speech online, and many more. The Internet is a global medium and so is the orientation of the new Humboldt Internet Law Clinic. Its initiators (Prof. Katharina de la Durantaye, Tim Engelhardt and myself) hope to establish fruitful collaborations with like-minded law clinics and partner organizations.