6.805 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier


Assignment 1

Assignments: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Pre-Semester Writing Assignment


Before 5 PM on the day before Lec #1. No one will be admitted to the class without having done the assignment.


Read the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case: Mainstream Marketing Services vs. Federal Trade Commission (10th Cir, 2004).

Pretend you are a reporter for a major newspaper. Write a short (two- or three-paragraph) news story (not a brief) that covers the Court’s ruling. Your story should be accessible to ordinary readers of the newspaper. It should explain what the issue was, how the Court ruled, and the Court’s reason for ruling that way, and why the public should care.

See how well you can write in good journalistic style. Use the tips on how to write a good news article in the study materials section.

We will be having your papers critiqued by a reporter from The Wall Street Journal.

Send your news story by email to 6.805 staff.

Before Class

Do the reading and the search exercises described in the sample case brief (PDF).

After Class

Register for the writing rotisserie after class. Remember that the weekly readings are to be done before lecture. Check out next week’s reading assignments a couple of days before class.