2002 Press Releases

Press Release

Monday, February 25, 2002


Samuelson Clinic Announces Launch of ChillingEffects.org

Contact: Deirdre K. Mulligan, Samuelson Clinic Dir., 510-642-0499, dmulligan@law.berkeley.edu
Jennifer M. Urban, Samueslon Clinic Fellow, 510-642-7561, jurban@law.berkeley.edu

Berkeley, CA - The Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and three other leading law school clinics, announces the launch today of a groundbreaking project and website that will empower Internet users with detailed information about their online legal rights.

In response to anecdotal evidence suggesting that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence online users, the Chilling Effects project endeavors to educate Internet users by providing detailed legal information and inviting Internet users to submit cease-and-desist letters to a public database published on the Chilling Effects website. Students at the participating law school clinics will review the letters, add comments by linking them to detailed FAQ's explaining the applicable legal rules, provide links to news and other resources, and publish periodic "weather reports" assessing timely developments for readers.

"The Internet allows ordinary people to put their ideas in front of the public. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for the dissemination of information, but also causes individuals to collide with complex intellectual property laws," said Samuelson Clinic Fellow Jennifer Urban. "By educating people about their rights through Chilling Effects, the clinic students will provide a needed public service while gaining hands-on experience with challenging legal issues."

"The Chilling Effects project is an amazing opportunity to take an active role in protecting the sharing of knowledge on the Internet," said Eddan Katz, lead student contributor from the Samuelson Clinic. "We can empower people to engage in legitimate activities with new technologies by explaining how the intellectual property laws we learn about in class may in fact protect their freedom of expression."

The Samuelson Clinic was the first law school clinic in the country to provide students with the opportunity to represent the public interest in cases and matters on the cutting edge of high technology law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco based online civil rights organization that set the Chilling Effects project in motion, and three other clinics (the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and the Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Project at the University of San Francisco Law School) are collaborating together on the Chilling Effects project.

Visit the Chilling Effects project website at: www.chillingeffects.org/

NOTE: More information about the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic can be found at: www.samuelsonclinic.org/