The Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic is the leading clinical program in technology law and the public interest. Through hands-on, real-world work, the Clinic trains law and graduate students in public interest work on emerging technologies, privacy, intellectual property, free speech, consumer and citizen interests in technology deployment and design, creativity, innovation, and other information policy issues.
In this work, the Clinic pursues a dual mission: to support the public’s interest in technology law and policy, and to teach law students through real-world work, with live clients, on cutting-edge policy issues.
The Clinic’s affiliated faculty and staff support Clinic students and clients with world-class expertise ranging from patent and copyright law to electronic privacy and online speech.
Read about the Samuelson Clinic’s recent projects, events, and faculty news in our winter newsletter.
Recent Clinic Projects
People v. Macabeo
Samuelson Clinic students recently represented the defendant in People v. Macabeo, a case before the California Supreme Court that raises important Fourth Amendment questions. The central question in the case is whether officers can conduct a search incident to arrest based solely on the fact that they have probable cause for a minor traffic infraction, or whether an actual arrest must have occurred or be underway for the search incident to arrest warrant exception to apply. The Samuelson Clinic argued that an actual arrest must have occurred or be underway for the exception to apply, and that this makes sense because when there is an actual arrest, officers need to ensure officer safety and to prevent the destruction of evidence. Read more about the Clinic’s work on this case here.
Fox News v. TVEyes Amicus Brief
Samuelson Clinic students recently filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit to protect public access to archived TV news clips and political advertisements. The case involves a copyright dispute between Fox News and TVEyes, a service that records all content broadcast by more than 1,400 television and radio stations and transforms the content into a searchable database for its subscribers. The amicus brief, submitted on behalf of the Internet Archive and other library and archive organizations, argues that preserving ephemeral media and making television content available for public access constitutes fair use and promotes public discourse and political accountability. The brief describes how television archives contribute to the work of journalists, scholars, librarians, teachers, civic organizations and engaged citizens. Read more about the clinic’s brief here.
Guide to Understanding Open Access
Understanding Open Access: When, Why, & How To Make Your Work Openly Accessible, co-authored by Samuelson Clinic students, helps authors determine whether open access is right for their works and, if so, how to make these works openly accessible. Until very recently, authors who wanted their works to be widely available had little choice but to submit their works to publishers who took assignments of the authors’ copyrights and exercised them according to a proprietary “all rights reserved” model. The advent of global digital networks now provides authors with exciting new options for communicating their ideas broadly—one of these options is open access. Understanding Open Access helps authors understand open access policies, evaluate open access repositories, and work with conventional publishers to accommodate their open access goals. The guide is the second volume in a series of educational handbooks that the Samuelson Clinic has prepared for non-profit Authors Alliance. Read more about the guide here.