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Cyberspace Law
Santa Clara University School of Law
Goldman, Eric

Cyberspace Law
I.                     Introduction to Cyberspace
A.      The Creation of the Internet and The Development of Cyberspace
1.        “The Internet is not a physical or tangible entity, but rather a giant network which interconnects innumerable small groups of linked computer networks. It is thus a network of networks.” (ACLU v. Reno (1996))
2.        “The nature of the Internet is such that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine its size at a given moment.”
3.        “The resulting whole [of the Internet] is a decentralized, global medium of communications—or ‘cyberspace’—that links people, institutions, corporations, and governments around the world. The Internet is an international system.”
4.        “No single entity—academic, corporate, governmental, or non-profit—administers the Internet. It exists and functions as a result of the fact that hundreds of thousands of separate operators of computers of computers and computer networks independently decided to use common data transfer protocols to exchange communications and information with other computers.”
B.       Methods to Communicate Over the Internet
1.        “The most common methods of communications on the Internet can be roughly grouped into six categories:
a.        one-to-one messaging (such as ‘e-mail’),
b.       one-to-many messaging (such as ‘listserv’),
c.        distributed message databases (such as ‘USENET newsgroups’),
d.       real time communications (such as ‘Internet Relay Chat’),
e.        real time remove computer utilization (such as ‘telnet’),
f.         remote information retrieval (such as ‘ftp,’ ‘gopher,’ and the ‘World Wide Web’)” 22
C.       The World Wide Web
1.        “The Web utilizes a ‘hypertext’ formatting language called hypertext markup language (HTML), and programs that ‘browse’ the Web can display HTML documents containing text, images, sound, animation and moving video.” ¶ 33
2.        “The World Wide Web is a series of documents stored in different computers all over the Internet. Documents contain information stored in a variety of formats, including text, still images, sounds and video. An essential element of the Web is that any document has an address (rather like a telephone number).” ¶ 36
3.        “Running on tens of thousands of individual computers on the Internet, the Web is what is known as a distributed system. The Web was designed so that organizations with computers containing information can become part of the Web simply by attaching their computers to the Internet and running appropriate World Wide Web software. No single organization controls any membership in the Web, nor is there any single centralized point from which individual Web sites or services can be blocked from the Web. From a user’s perspective, it may appear to be a single, integrated system, but in reality it has no centralized point.” ¶ 46
4.        “. . . the open nature of the Web makes it easy for publishers to reach their intended audiences without having to know in advance what kind of computer each potential reader has, and what kind of software they will be using.” ¶ 48
D.      Content of the Internet
1.        “Such diversity of content on the Internet is possible because the Internet provides an easy and inexpensive way for a speaker to reach a large audience, potentially of millions. The start-up and operating costs entailed by communication on the Internet are significantly lower than those associated with use of other forms of mass communication. . . .” ¶ 76
2.        “Because of the different forms of Internet communication, a use

lves two inquiries:
(1)     Whether the forum state’s long arm statute permits the assertion of jurisdiction
(2)     Whether assertion of personal jurisdiction violates the Federal Due Process Clause
(a)     Due process requires that a defendant, if not present in the state, “have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notion of fair play and substantial justice.” (International Shoe Co. v. Washington)
b.       General v. Specific Jurisdiction
(1)     General Jurisdiction
(a)     General jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court to hear any cause of action involving a defendant, regardless of whether the cause of action arose from the defendant’s activities within the forum state (Helicopteros v. Hall)
(b)     The defendant must have “continuous and systematic” contacts with the forum state (Helicopteros)
(c)     Defendant’s operations are entirely within South Carolina, is not registered to conduct business within the state of Oregon, has no registered employees, agents or representatives in Oregon nor has any physical presence in Oregon.  The only Oregon contacts that exist are the Web site and the occasional purchase of CDs from an Oregon distributor
(2)     Specific Jurisdiction
(a)     Specific jurisdiction refers to a situation in which the case of action arises directly from contacts with the forum state.
Three-Step Analysis for Specific Jurisdiction