Computer Law Seminar Readings

This list of assigned readings will grow as the quarter progresses. We'll mark new additions conspicuously; a few marked NEW! Oval Red/Blue have been added as of June 1. Some of the listings here are not assignments; they're there for reference (and may be useful as you look into your project topics).

Many of these materials were written for lawyers, which means they presume some familiarity with legal terms and concepts. Of course I encourage you to note unfamiliar terms and bring them to class so I can (try to) clarify them.

Most of these references are available on-line, but some will be available only on paper. Access instructions for paper materials appear below.

Access to some of the electronic references may be restricted to the UCI community (which is an example of intellectual property law in practice). The URLs to those references will work from computers at UCI. If you (as a UCI student) want access from off campus, you'll need to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) using free software available from UCI's NACS (for Windows, Linux, or MacOS X). NACS has a page describing how to download and install the VPN software: .

The readings come from a variety of sources, such as:

  1. Sources of Law [This section is for reference; it's not an assignment]

    1. Federal

      1. U.S. Constitution:

      2. Legislation and Statutes

        1. U. S. Code: or or or

        2. Legislation in progress:

      3. Courts

        1. U. S. Supreme Court opinions:

        2. U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal:

    2. California

      1. Legislation and Statutes:

      2. Court opinions:

        1. Filed in the last 60 days:

        2. Older opinions: or (fee-based)

    3. International

      1. The World Intellectual Property Organization (

    4. Lexis access: The Lexis system was one of the first full-text-searchable databases, first available about 30 years ago. Access is available to the UCI community at . You can search here for cases and statutes.

  2. Computer Law--General [for reference; not an assignment]

    1. There are good, short, reasonably current overviews of many legal topics at , which also provides access to statutes and reported cases (i.e., appellate court opinions).

    2. NGOs (non-governmental organizations) often follow legislation and pending cases in their areas of interest.

      1. The ACM has a public policy office and web site:

      2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( addresses a wide range of computing-related legal and policy issues.

      3. The Recording Industry Association of America ( and the Motion Picture Association of America ( take an industry perspective.

      4. The Electronic Privacy Information Center ( covers privacy issues, as does the American Civil Liberties Union (

    3. Three notable law professors who address cyberlaw issues:

      1. Larry Lessig at Stanford (

      2. Pamela Samuelson at Berkeley (

      3. Eugene Volokh at UCLA (

  3. Intellectual Property--Patent

    1. Patent sources and references [for reference, not an assignment]

      1. U. S. Patent and Trademark Office:

      2. USPTO Patent Database:

    2. The one-click patent (No. 5,960,411). This link shows an HTML-friendly version of the patent. From that page, click the "Images" link to see what the real patent application looks like. Don't feel obligated to read through the entire patent application, but look it over (especially the front page and the claims).

    3. The Patent Office examination guidelines for computer-related inventions:

    4. David S. Almeling, Patenting Nanotechnology: Problems with the Utility Requirement, 2004 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. N1 (2004).

  4. Intellectual Property--Copyright

    1. U.S. Copyright Office [for reference]: http://www.

    2. U.S. Copyright Office Circular 61 on computer programs: http://www.copyright/gov/circs/circ61.pdf

    3. Stacey M. Lantagne, The Morality of MP3s: The Failure of the Recording Industry's Plan of Attack, 18 Harvard J. Law Tech. 269 (2004)

  5. Intellectual Property--Trade Secret and Trademark

    1. Trade Secret Home Page has a variety of trade secret information [for reference, not an assignment]

  6. Jurisdiction

    1. Yvonne A. Tamayo, Catch Me If You Can: Serving United States Process On An Elusive Defendant Abroad, 17 Harvard J. Law Tech. 211 (2003)

  7. Contracts

    1. NEW! Oval Red/Blue Pro CD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg, 86 F.3d 1447 (7th Cir. 1996). An actual appellate opinion, mercifully short, holding that "[s]hrinkwrap licenses are enforceable unless their terms are objectionable on grounds applicable to contracts in general (for example, if they violate a rule of positive law, or if they are unconscionable)."

  8. Liability for Malfunction

    1. Meiring de Villiers, Virus Ex Machina: Res Ipsa Loquitur, 2003 Stan Tech. L. Rev. 1

  9. Privacy

    1. Who Knows Where You've Been? Privacy Concerns Regarding the Use of Cellular Phones as Personal Locators, 18 Harvard J. Law Tech. 307 (2004)

    2. Gail Lasprogata, Nancy J. King, Sukanya Pillay, Regulation of Electronic Employee Monitoring: Identifying Fundamental Principles of Employee Privacy through a Comparative Study of Data Privacy Legislation in the European Union, United States and Canada, 2004 San. Tech. L. Rev. 4. There are options for on-line and off-line reading.

    3. Harry A. Valetk, Mastering the Dark Arts of Cyberspace: A Quest for Sound Internet Safety Policies, 2004 Stan Tech. L. Rev. 2 (2004)

    4. Jerry Kang and Benedikt Buchner, Privacy in Atlantis, 18 Harvard J. Law Tech. 229 (2004)

    5. NEW! Oval Red/Blue European Community, Directive on privacy and electronic communications, 12 July 2002.

  10. Litigation and Evidence

    1. NEW! Oval Red/Blue California Evidence Code sec. 1552 (the authenticity of computer-based information)

    2. NEW! Oval Red/Blue Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, 217 F.R.D. 309 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (Electronic discovery of e-mail). You can find this in LEXIS through the UCI Library.

  11. Computer Crime

    1. California Penal Code sec. 502 and 502.01 (the California computer crime law). You'll have to scroll down the page to find these sections.

    2. NEW! Oval Red/Blue Jay Becker, "Rifkin: A Documentary History," Computer/Law Journal (Summer 1980). This includes the full paper record of the multi-million-dollar electronic theft from Security Pacific National Bank, including the defendant's gulity-plea interview with the judge. This is only available on paper; the packet looks large, but the print is not dense. You can find this packet on the bookshelf in my outer office, CS 406, which is generally open during business hours. There's a nice couch there where you can read it; if you take it away to read elsewhere, leave a note so a classmate won't look in vain. (The packet is on the bookshelf near the blackboard, bound with a large black metal clip.)

David G. Kay, 406B Computer Science
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-3425 -- (949) 824-5072 -- Fax (949) 824-4056 -- Email

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 -- 7:27 AM