I am Principal Identity Architect at Tucows.

Previously, Strategy Lead and Counsel to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); previously a Fellow with Yale Law School's Information Society Project, Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy; the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado; and with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. I was a Visiting Fellow with the Oxford Internet Institute, teaching a joint course with the Said Business School, Media Strategies for a Networked World. I have previously taught at American University's Washington College of Law, Brooklyn Law School, and Northeastern University School of Law, and served as staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before joining EFF, I taught Internet Law as an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law, and practiced intellectual property and technology litigation at Kramer Levin in New York.

Chilling Effects: I founded and developed the Lumen Database (formerly, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse), a project to study and combat the ungrounded legal threats that chill activity on the Internet. In conjunction with the EFF and law school clinics across the country, we invite recipients and senders of cease and desist notices to submit these notices for analysis in issue-spotting FAQ-style memos and inclusion in our database. Chilling Effects offers resources for Internet users who face legal threats, and, through its collection of data, we hope to analyze the out-of-court effects of those threats to chill legitimate activity, or, conversely, the extent to which unlawful activity on the Net proves resistant to legal action. Chilling Effects has been featured in the New York Times and Boston Globe, as well as in many academic papers and court filings.

I have served on the Board of Directors of The Tor Project, supporting privacy and anonymity research, education, and technology; the World Wide Web Foundation; and the Open Source Hardware Association. I served on the ICANN Board as at-large advisory committee liaison.

I helped public interest ISP Online Policy Group to win the first case for damages under DMCA Section 512(f) for abusive copyright claims (OPG v. Diebold), and defended the privacy of Internet users as amicus in Verizon v. RIAA and Charter v. RIAA. As amicus in Lexmark v. Static Control, we helped to preserve interoperability, against the threat of overreaching DMCA claims. I led EFF's Digital Television Liberation Front and the Endangered Gizmos campaign.

Early work at the Berkman Center focused on the legal issues and intellectual property questions surrounding Free Software. I started and led the Openlaw project, an experiment bringing the methods of open source and Free Software development to legal argument in the public interest. Openlaw's first case, Eldred v. Ashcroft was argued before the Supreme Court October 9, 2002. The Openlaw DVD forum developed arguments in defense of 2600 Magazine's posting of DeCSS code, arguing that technological protections for digital media must accommodate free speech and fair use. Openlaw participants filed an amicus brief in the Southern District of New York in the DeCSS case Universal v. Reimerdes, and I drafted the cryptographers' amicus brief to the Second Circuit on appeal. I worked with the Creative Commons project to offer the public a range of open licenses to promote sharing of creative non-software works.


Author page on SSRN

Projects and Explorations

  • Lumen Database (formerly Chilling Effects): This pioneering transparency reporting site documents requests to remove online speech and informs Internet users of their rights in response.
  • Cross-Cultural Partnership Template: The partnership template and supporting materials are designed to help collaborators with different backgrounds and interests to converse about their common goals and frame joint work.
  • Endangered Gizmos: Demonstrating the threat that expansive copyright poses to innovation and creative expression by showcasing some of the devices killed by law. The project included a "build-in" and cookbook to construct MythTV high-definition time-shifting video recorders, one of the endangered gizmos.
  • Openlaw: An experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum, developing arguments, drafting pleadings, and editing briefs in public, online. Non-lawyers and lawyers alike were invited to join the process by adding thoughts to the "brainstorm" outlines, drafting and commenting on drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources.
  • ICANN: From early study of "representation in cyberspace" to service on the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, helping to shape this multi-stakeholder institution of domain name governance.
  • Tor Project: Advocate and founding Board member for the Tor onion-routing secure anonymous communication software.


Elsewhere Online

Invited Presentations

  • Keynote, Privacy Engineering Section Forum, IAPP Privacy, Security, Risk, Las Vegas, NV, September 23, 2019
  • Archiving the Future: Law, Technology, and Practice at the Web's Edge, keynote IIPC General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference, Wellington, NZ, November 15, 2018
  • Transparency of Notice and Choice, Fordham Law School IPLJ Symposium, September 4, 2018
  • The Right to Unmake and Fair Use in the Age of Instagram, U. Maine Digital Humanities Week, Oct. 2-5, 2017
  • Keynote, The Anonymity Primitive, Bytes and Rights, WWW Conference, April 4, 2017
  • Securing the Open Web Platform, OSCON, Austin, TX, May 2016
  • Freedom to Innovate and the Freedom to Fail, Freedom to Innovate, MIT, October 2015
  • The Opposite of Censorship, keynote, Princeton Censorship Conference, October 2015
  • Make Install Freedom, Boston University CS Convocation, May 2013
  • Solutions to the Software Patent Problem, Santa Clara Law, November 16, 2012
  • "Privacy, Option Value, Feedback," Privacy Law Scholars Conference, June 7-8, 2012
  • Rights and Bytes, ID^3, May 31, 2012
  • Freedom to Connect, May 22, 2012
  • Keynote, "Defending the Open Net," ORGcon, London, March 24, 2012
  • Global Censorship Conference, Yale, April 31, 2012
  • "Openness in the Smartphone Ecosystem," Whittier Law Review Symposium, Nov 4, 2011
  • "Android's Openness" (keynote) and "Leveraging Openness", Android Open (O'Reilly), San Francisco, Nov. 2011
  • "Software Patent and/or Software Development," TPRC, Wash. DC, Oct. 2011; Yale ISP, Oct. 2011
  • USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communication on the Internet, San Francisco, August 2011
  • Workshop on Free and Open Communication on the Internet, Georgia Tech, Feb. 24-25, 2011
  • "Journalism and Social Network Privacy," Privacy and the Press, University of Colorado, Dec. 3, 2010
  • "Free Speech Unmoored in Copyright's Safe Harbor," TPRC Conference, Wash. DC, Oct 3, 2010
  • Keynote, "Making Privacy Visible," Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium, Berlin, Germany July 21, 2010
  • Online Censorship -- Content Filtering At Home and Abroad, MAPping Change, Media Access Project, Washington, DC, June 11, 2010
  • Generation Copyright, ALAI Canada Colloquium, Montreal, CA, June 1, 2010
  • Internet Intermediary Liability, Consilience '10, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India, May 29-30, 2010
  • Patents and Free and Open Source Software, Silicon Flatirons, CU-Boulder, April 29, 2010
  • "Free Speech Unmoored in Copyright's Safe Harbors," CU-Boulder Colloquium, April 2, 2010
  • "Can You Copyright a Tweet?" South by Southwest Interactive, Austin TX, March 14, 2010
  • "Chokepoints and Chilling Effects, Intermediaries and Online Speech," Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Nov. 30, 2009
  • Cyber Civil Rights: New Challenges for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in our Networked Age, commentator, Denver University Law Review, Nov. 20, 2009
  • "Chokepoints and Chilling Effects, Intermediaries and Online Speech," Whittier Law School, Nov. 11, 2009
  • Politics 101: The Making of Copyright, Cornell Institute for Computing Law and Policy, Ithaca, NY, July 22, 2009
  • Copyright, Technological Protection, and User Innovation, OII Summer Doctoral Program, Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 2009
  • Copyright and Technology, SouthEast LinuxFest, Clemson, SC, June 13, 2009
  • Intermediated User Innovation, MIT Open & User Innnovation Workshop, May 19, 2009
  • Free Speech and Chilling Effects on the Global Internet, PIR Advisory Council, April 18, 2009
  • Authorship, Appropriation, and the Fluid Text: Versions of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Colloquium, March 19, 2009
  • Peer-to-Peer2.0 (panel) SXSW Interactive, March 17, 2009
  • Fair Use panel, Copyright Society of the US, New York Chapter, February 26, 2009
  • Ten Years into the Digital Millennium, Virginia Tech, February 20, 2009
  • Social and Technical Architecture of the Internet, CNbloggercon. Guangzhou, China, November 16, 2008
  • Network Openness on Campus, Securing the eCampus. Dartmouth College, November 11, 2008
  • The Imperfect is the Enemy of the Good: Anticircumvention versus User TPRC, September 27, 2008, and Intellectual Property Speaker Series, Northeastern Univ., October 6 2008
  • "The Internet's Constitutional Moments," Supernova, San Francisco, CA, June 17, 2008
  • Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy Symposium, New York, NY, May 29, 2008 (excerpt from "Free Speech Unmoored in Copyright's Safe Harbor")
  • Preserving Openness, Union College, Schenectady, NY, May 28, 2008
  • American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C. April 10, 2008 (talk abstract)
  • "Preserving the Library of the Future," New England Archivists Annual Meeting, Newport, RI, March 29, 2008
  • Media Re:Public, Los Angeles, CA, March 28, 2008
  • Expectations of Privacy for a Database Age, Google Tech Talk, Kirkland, WA, Jan. 24, 2008 and Harvard Center for Research on Computation and Society, Feb. 27, 2008
  • Legal Threats, Chilling Effects and Warming the Air, EDUCAUSE Live, Jan. 23, 2008
  • Digital Freedom University, Harvard and Northeastern, October 2007
  • Protecting the University from Copyright Bullies and Righting the Copyright Balance, Cornell University Computer Policy and Law Program, Ithaca, NY, Sept. 27 2007
  • Search and Privacy, Microsoft Faculty Summit, Redmond, WA, July, 2007
  • The University and The RIAA, IS2K7, Cambridge, MA, June 1, 2007
  • Search and Privacy, WWW2007, Banff, May, 2007
  • Section 230: At the Gates between Liability for Harmful Speech and Wikipedia (panelist), Wikimania 2006, Cambridge, MA, August 4, 2006
  • Keynote presentation, "Preserving Privacy as Technologies Change," 7th Annual IEEE Information Assurance Workshop, West Point, NY, June 22, 2006
  • DRM: Digital Rights Management or Digital "Restrictions" - DRM in the wake of the Sony "Rootkit" controversy, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, April 11, 2006
  • Wharton Technology Conference, February 24, 2006
  • Data Devolution: Corporate Information Security, Consumers and the Future of Regulation, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, UFL, February 3-4, 2006
  • UNC Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity and the Innovation Process, Chapel Hill, NC, November 1, 2005
  • Why we care what happens in Paragon City, Austin Game Conference, October 28, 2005 (slides)
  • Bloggers Rights, BlogHer, Santa Clara, CA, July 30, 2005
  • Ask EFF, DEF CON 13, Las Vegas, NV, July 29, 2005
  • Know Your Rights: Legal inoculation for contagious media, Eyebeam Contagious Media Workshop, New York, NY, May 7, 2005
  • Fear-to-Peer: A debate about filesharing on campus, Princeton, NJ, May 6, 2005
  • "Endangered Devices and How We Can Save Them," O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, San Diego, California, March 14-17, 2005 (presentation) (slides, website) and Computers, Freedom, & Privacy, April 12-15, 2005, Seattle, Wash.
  • Vermont Law School Solutions Conference, April 8-10, 2005, South Royalton, Vermont
  • Signal or Noise 2k5, April 8, 2005, Cambridge, Mass.
  • "Can't we all just get along," South by Southwest Music Festival, March 19, 2005
  • International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism, and Security, Madrid, Spain, March 8-11, 2005
  • Not All Fun and Games, Santa Clara Law School Computer and High Technology Law Journal Symposium, February 11, 2005
  • Regulating Knowledge: Costs, Risks, and Models of Innovation, Brussels, Belgium, November 9-10, 2004 (presentation, software patents, small business, and the public interest)
  • Internet Service Provider Best Practices, ISPCON, Santa Clara, CA, November 3, 2004
  • E-Lection 2004 Symposium, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL, October 1, 2004 (panel: What's Inside that Black Box, how intellectual property clouds the e-voting picture)
  • DEF CON 12, Las Vegas, NV, July 30-August 1, 2004 (panels: Ask EFF, Digital Television Liberation)
  • BlogOn: The Business of Social Media, Berkeley, Cal., July 23, 2004 (panel)
  • Supernova 2004, Santa Clara, California, June 24-25, 2004 (panel, IP vs. IP: Intellectual Property Meets the Internet Protocol, June 24)
  • Wizards of OS 3: The Future of the Digital Commons, Berlin, Germany, June 10-12, 2004 (alternative compensation systems panel and workshops June 12); workshop Where next for copyright in the new Europe?, June 13, 2004
  • Free Bitflows, Vienna, Austria, June 3-4, 2004 (compensation decentral panel June 4)
  • "Copyright and the Library of the Future," AISTI, Forces of Innovation on Digital Libraries, Santa Fe, NM, May 11, 2004 (presentation)
  • Computers, Freedom & Privacy, Chilling Effects and Suing File Sharers (panels), Berkeley, CA, April 20-23, 2004
  • Battling for Ownership of the Arts, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL., April 17-18, 2004
  • Interz0ne III, Atlanta, GA, April 16, 2004
  • ABA Intellectual Property Law Conference, Washington, DC, April 1-2, 2004
  • Panel, "Weblogs and the Law," SXSW Interactive, Austin, TX, March 15, 2004
  • "Reclaiming the Internet," National Education Association conference, Seattle, Washington, March 5, 2004
  • Panel, "Digital Music: What Does the Future Hold?" Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal Symposium, Santa Clara, CA, February 6, 2004
  • Panel, "Online Piracy," California State Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA, February 2, 2004
  • Panel, Digital Independence, San Francisco, CA, January 31, 2004
  • The Freedom to Discover, IDLELO Conference on the Digital Commons, Cape Town, South Africa, Jan 11-15, 2004
  • Rip, Burn, Sue, (panel) iHollywood Music 2.0, Los Angeles, CA, December 8, 2003
  • Copyright and the Networked Computer, Washington D.C., November 6-8, 2003
  • ISPCon, October 20, 2003
  • What's Happening? Downloading Music, St. Albans Issues Forum, October 17, 2003
  • Privacy in the Age of Digital Copying, California State Bar Association, Cyberlaw Section, September 6, 2003 August 1-3, 2003 (presentation August 2)
  • Search Engine Legal Issues, Search Engine Strategies, San Jose, California, August 19, 2003
  • Pacific Crest Technology Conference, Vail, Colorado, August 12, 2003
  • The Internet's Private Cops, DEFCON 11, August 1-3, 2003 (presentation August 2)
  • Content: Tech, ILAW Stanford, 2003, July 2, 2003 (presentation)
  • Open Source Content Management Conference, May 28-30, 2003 (presentation May 30 PPT or openoffice)
  • "DRM in Practice: Rights, Restrictions, and Reality", O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, April 22-25, 2003 (panel April 23)
  • Copy the Rights, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, February 26, 2003, 11:00-17:00, Rotterdam (presentation)
  • "Reconciling the Commons and the Marketplace", The New Gatekeepers: A Conference on Free Expression and the Arts, Columbia University National Arts Journalism Program, November 20-21 2002 (presentation Nov. 21) (New York Times review, The Censor and the Artist: A Murky Border)
  • "Mickey Mice? Potential Ramifications of Eldred v. Ashcroft", Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal Symposium, The State of Intellectual Property or the Intellectual Property State?, November 8, 2002
  • DIY Remix Forum, CMJ Music Marathon, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2002 (presentation Nov. 2)
  • "Trademarks and Free Speech," International Trademark Association's Trademarks in Cyberspace, September 19, 2002 (Brussels), September 25, 2002 (New York)
  • "Copyright Term Extensions, Opposing Views on the Eldred Case," Association of American Publishers, July 17, 2002
  • "The Politics of DVD," panelist, DVD Association's DVD 2002, June 3-4, 2002 (presentation June 3)
  • "Chilling Effects Clearinghouse," Connectivity 2002, May 21-23, 2002 (presentation May 23)
  • "Eldred v. Ashcroft," panelist, New York State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section and Cardozo School of Law, May 22, 2002, 6-8 p.m., Weil Gotshal & Manges
  • "Who Controls New Media? Open Art in Closed Systems", Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Peter B. Lewis Theater, March 21, 2002
  • "Are New Media Replacing Old Media?", panelist, St. John's Law School Communications Law Conference, March 22, 2002
  • Music and Theft: Sampling, Technology, and the Law, A Conference at Duke Law School, (participant), March 30, 2002
  • P (through ISP) to P: The Internet's Other Intermediaries, moderator, O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer and Web Services Conference, November 6, 2001
  • From Open Source to Openlaw: Public Collaboration on Legal Argument, Grassroots Use of the Internet, March 10, 2001
  • Digital Content Control and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, guest panelist, Internet & Society 2000, November 28, 2000
  • Multimedia and the Internet, N.Y. Software Summit, September 25, 2000
  • Copyright and Plagiarism (PDF), Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Regional Sponsors' Conference, September 22, 2000

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    Last updated 2017
    (cc) Wendy Seltzer (public key)