The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I'm delighted to report that Professor Randal Picker of the University of Chicago Law School will be blogging in the coming days about his forthcoming free massive open online course (MOOC), "Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms." This is the University of Chicago Law School's first course being done using Coursera's on-demand format, so the content is always available and students have access to all the content all the time.
Professor Picker's posts will mostly be about how we should think about MOOCs, the experience of preparing a MOOC and the experience of running it. Here, though, is a summary of the substance of the MOOC, as background for his posts:
Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media platforms focuses on the law, economics and technology that define the online world that we live in today. This means the world of Microsoft, Google, and Apple, and ideas like network neutrality. There is no single body of law that applies to this world, but we repeatedly see cases and regulations centered on antitrust, copyright, patents, privacy and telecommunications. And the economic underpinnings of these firms—two-sided markets and the like—are quite different from most conventional markets.
All of this makes for a rich mix of law, economics and technology. And all of the issues arise in tools and technologies—from Microsoft Windows to Google search to iOS and Android and then to Netflix and ebooks—that we use every day. We will look at all of that historically and through cases being decided today.