Some Good News: I’ll Be On Sabbatical In 2015-16

I’ll be on sabbatical for the entire academic year 2015-16. I’m excited because it comes at a crucial time for me both personally and professionally. I’ll teach my last class at the end of April and then teach again starting August 2016.

I plan to be in my office most days during my sabbatical. It’s too hard to work at home! While I’ll be on campus pretty much as usual, I will be making some changes to my normal schedule:

* I won’t teach. This will be the first time in 20 years that I’ll not be teaching Internet Law! However, I intend to update my Internet Law reader in Summer 2015.

* I will be taking a hiatus from all of my university committee/service work. I’ve already handed off my role as Building Committee chair. I will be stepping out of my role of Co-Director of the High Tech Law Institute; I expect Brian Love will continue as director during my sabbatical. I haven’t discussed with the deans if I’ll resume the HTLI co-director role in 2016. During my sabbatical, I will also be handing off my supervision of the Privacy Law Certificate to a person TBD.

* I will be accepting speaking engagements even more selectively. I have a few trips planned before June 30. After that, I’ll probably take only 2-3 business trips over the subsequent 12 months. If you’d like to pitch me on a speaking gig or conference, by all means, please ask me! But please don’t be upset if I say no.

* I don’t expect my blogging to change. As I’ve been doing for the past year, I anticipate about 2 posts/month at Forbes, 4-6 posts/month at the Technology & Marketing Law Blog and once every couple of months here.

* I’ll also continue with my already-reduced slate of external boards, such as the Public Participation Project. However, I don’t anticipate taking on any new ones during the year.

So what will I do with my newly freed time? Obviously, my top priority is to be with my wife and family. Being a lung cancer caretaker has a fair amount of duties and time commitments, not all of which I anticipated. The sabbatical will make my schedule more flexible, so I can leave work early or take personal trips without any professional conflicts.

Professionally, here are some of the things I hope to complete by the end of my sabbatical:

* my main new sabbatical project will be on copyright law as a privacy-protection law (I plan to explain why that’s a bad idea). This is an extension of the Garcia v. Google brief I wrote with Venkat, as well as a continuation of the work I did with Jason Schultz on I had hoped to present this project at WIPIP but a conflicting caretaker duty arose and I had to drop off the speaker roster. I still plan to present it at the Internet Law WIP at SCU in March.

* my long-standing vaporware paper on Section 230 and consumer reviews. This is the paper I presented at the Section 230 15 year anniversary conference…in, uh, 2011.

* two complementary short papers on keyword advertising. The first, a paper on competitive keyword advertising by lawyers, is nearly done, and I’ll be circulating it in February. The second, which I hope to finish this semester, will declare the end of keyword advertising legal battles.

* a short paper on self-publishing an electronic casebook, which I’m co-authoring with Rebecca Tushnet. We have already submitted our draft to the journal.

* a short paper on online price discrimination. This is based on a presentation I made back in 2013. I plan to present this paper at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference at Berkeley in June.

* a short paper on online contracts, following up on my AALS presentation earlier this month.

* update my Internet Law reader in Summer 2015 and 2016.

* update the Advertising & Marketing Law casebook with Rebecca, probably in Summer 2016. I also will be trying to expand the associated teacher’s manual and supplemental website.

Some of the other projects on the maybe-I’ll-get-to-them list:

* my long-standing vaporware paper on ODR for consumer review websites.

* my long-standing vaporware paper on the Duty to Police in Trademark Law with Deborah Gerhardt and Leah Chan Grinvald.

* a possible short piece on copyright and ratings.

As you can see, I expect a busy sabbatical!