Lauren Gelman's blog

FCC Hearing Prep Meetings

Local community groups around Palo Alto and the Bay Area have organized a series of community meetings to connect before the FCC hearing, help folks learn more about the issues, and talk about giving testimony at the hearing.

Sunday, April 13th, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
The Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, CA

Monday, April 14th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
KPFA, 94.1, 1929 Martin Luther King Way, Berkeley, CA

Tuesday, April 15th, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Bay Area Video Coalition, 2727 Mariposa Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco

Wednesday, April 16th, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
One East Palo Alto Office, 1798 Bay Road, East Palo Alto, CA

Also, has posted resources where you can learn more about Net Neutrality to prep for comments you want to make at the hearing, or to hand out to your friends. You can download resources in Spanish and English. Read more about FCC Hearing Prep Meetings

Court holds Privacy Act "actual damages requirement" does not require pecuniary harm

I'm breaking blog silence to report on an amazing decision out of the DC Circuit holding that the federal Privacy Act's requirement that Plaintiffs show actual damages does not require pecuniary harm but can be met by a showing of emotional distress. Am. Fed'n of Gov't Employees v. Hawley, D.D.C., No. 07-00855, 3/31/08.

[T]he plaintiffs' alleged injury is not speculative nor dependent on any future event, such as a third party's misuse of the data, the court said. The court finds that plaintiffs have standing to bring their Privacy Act claim. Read more about Court holds Privacy Act "actual damages requirement" does not require pecuniary harm

Apply to Be a CIS Non-Residential Fellow

The Center for Internet and Society is now accepting applications for the 2007-2008 Non- Residential Fellowship Program.

CIS Non-Residential Fellows work independently and with CIS staff and faculty on projects related to CIS' mission. These non-supported fellowships allow practitioners to benefit from synergies with Stanford Law School in their scholarly research. Non-Residential Fellows are encouraged to make their work available through CIS and to present their work at the CIS Speaker Series.

This fellowship is particularly appropriate for individuals who are interested in studying a cyberlaw issue or working on a cyberlaw project that is outside the scope of their usual work and who would benefit from the affiliation with and support of Stanford CIS. Applicants must submit a specific research proposal which they plan to accomplish during the one- year fellowship. While fellowships are generally for one year, they may be renewed if the collaboration proves productive and would benefit from additional time.

Applications will be accepted until August 4th and are *only* accepted through the CIS website. Read more about Apply to Be a CIS Non-Residential Fellow

Spend an hour in a virtual world this week

Join us for a conversation at State of play academy.

All you need to do is:
(1) download the software. (only works on PC or PC emulator-- like Mac running bootcamp)
(2) Register an avatar and upgrade to voice or use a generic one listed at the end of this email.
(3) Log in and IM me and I'll "summon" you to our teaching location
(4) To be able to speak (instead of just type Questions, comments, etc) you need a headset.

Please contact me if you need help logging in.
gelman at stanford dot edu



Public disclosure and the Fourth Amendment
Monday, 7 May (03:00 PM » 04:00 PM)

This class will discuss the "third party doctrine" established in the cases of US v. Miller and Smith v. Maryland.

Jennifer Stisa Granick joined Stanford Law School in January 2001, as Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Center for Internet and Society (CIS).

Revolving Door No More: Inevitable Disclosure and Its Potential Impact on Technological Public Infrastructure
Tuesday, 8 May (11:30 AM » 12:30 PM)
David Levine

I will argue, in sum, that trade secrecy's inevitable disclosure rule must be narrowly construed in the context of public infrastructure projects, especially if the government attempts to utilize such rights.
David Levine is a Resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School (and a huge supporter of SOPA!)

Indirect Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Clause
Tuesday, 8 May (01:00 PM » 02:00 PM)
Associate Professor Chris Sprigman, UVA Law School

Indirect application respects Congress's lawmaking primacy and its lead role in elucidating the boundaries of its power under the Intellectual Property Clause. But it preserves an important - albeit ultimately not decisive - role for courts in determining what those boundaries are. And most importantly, it allows both courts and Congress to do what they do well

Chris Sprigman is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches intellectual property law, antitrust law, competition policy, and comparative constitutional law.

Election 2008 and the Remix Culture
Friday, 11 May (12:00 PM » 01:00 PM)
Things you can and cannot do when creating your own campaign ads or when covering the election.

Lauren Gelman is Dean of State of Play Academy and the Associate Director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Read more about Spend an hour in a virtual world this week

State of Play Academy Spring Semester

I am delighted to announce the State of Play Academy (SOPA) Spring Semester will start Monday April 23 2007 and run thru June 8, 2007. SOPA is a virtual space for conversations about law and technology located in

We are offering conversations in three tracks:

* Paper Workshops- presentations by scholars of papers related to law and technology.
* Issue Conversations- group discussions of current events and emerging issues in law and technology.
* How-to’s- practical advise on all sorts issues that confront ordinary Internet users.

More information, including how to log on and participate in SOPA classes at

We will be adding more classes as the semester progresses. I will add them to the website and post them on our blog. You can also join our mailing list to get regular updates to our schedule.

Please let me know if you are interested in leading one of our conversations this semester as I have some slots available. Read more about State of Play Academy Spring Semester

Muni Wifi in SF helps Low Income Residents get Wired

Wired News has a nice article about how Muni Wifi is helping low income residents in San Francisco get wired:

Last month, volunteers turned on a novel broadband network in this 135-unit block, throwing a digital lifeline to Emma Casey and other tenants. Using a refurbished PC she picked up for $100, the 47-year-old mother of two adult children is now going online to help her son find a job, get health information and, she says, pay tribute to neighbors who've met with violent or untimely deaths. Read more about Muni Wifi in SF helps Low Income Residents get Wired


Jay Rosen's and Wired News just launched AssignmentZero, "an attempt to bring journalists together with people in the public who can help cover a story."

I think this is a really wonderful project that takes the concept of citizen journalism to the next level by creating a platform for professionals and amateurs to collaborate on one story. Check it out and sign up to be a part of the project. Their first project-- assignment zero-- is about crowdsourcing and the larger practice it's part of: peer production on the new information commons.

(I wrote their copyright and privacy policy so please let me know if you have any feedback on that.) Read more about AssignmentZero


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