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The Information Society Project at Yale Law School is an intellectual center addressing the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society, guided by the values of democracy, development, and civil liberties. Areas of focus include copyright, media law and policy, and privacy.

Upcoming Events

Thomson Reuters Speaker Series: Patrick Burkart

Date: 
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

"Pirate Politics"

ABSTRACT: The Swedish Pirate Party emerged as a political force in 2006 when a group of software programmers and file-sharing geeks protested the police takedown of The Pirate Bay, a Swedish file-sharing search engine. The Swedish Pirate Party, and later the German Pirate Party, came to be identified with a “free culture" message that came into conflict with the European Union’s legal system. In this book, Patrick Burkart examines the emergence of Pirate politics as an umbrella cyberlibertarian movement that views file sharing as a form of free expression and advocates for the preservation of the Internet as a commons. He links the Pirate movement to the Green movement, arguing that they share a moral consciousness and an explicit ecological agenda based on the notion of a commons, or public domain. The Pirate parties, like the Green Party, must weigh ideological purity against pragmatism as they move into practical national and regional politics.

Burkart uses second-generation critical theory and new social movement theory as theoretical perspectives for his analysis of the democratic potential of Pirate politics. After setting the Pirate parties in conceptual and political contexts, Burkart examines European antipiracy initiatives, the influence of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the pressure exerted on European governance by American software and digital exporters. He argues that pirate politics can be seen as “cultural environmentalism," a defense of Internet culture against both corporate and state colonization.

Thomson Reuters Speaker Series: Emily Parker

Date: 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

The Internet Underground and the Limits of Surveillance

Co-hosted by the Thompson Reuters Speaker Series at the Information Society Project, the National Security Group at Yale Law School, and the Yale World Fellows Program.

Emily Parker is the author of "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground" (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The book tells the stories of dissident bloggers in China, Cuba and Russia. Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote the book is "a rigorously researched and reported account that reads like a thriller. It's been a while since I have read a book that is so entertaining, not to mention so encouraging for the culture of liberty."