Vol. XIX, Issue 2

February 20, 2013

Dear Readers,

The Richmond Journal of Law and Technology is proud to present its second issue of the 2012-2013 academic year. First published in 1995, JOLT is the world’s first exclusively online law review. JOLT strives to discuss new and emerging issues that fall squarely at the intersection of technology and the law. Another year goes by and technology continues to advance, and not surprisingly, further influences our daily lives. JOLT’s mission is to recognize the practical effects the growth of technology has on society and to promote a relevant and timely discussion on these topics.

Embracing its tradition of using technology to enhance legal scholarship, JOLT recently launched its new interactive website and blog. In addition to providing traditional PDFs for printing and citation, entire articles are now available in full text on JOLT’s website so all terms are search engine friendly and readers can comment on individual articles. JOLT’s new platform offers reader and author interaction, advanced searchable features, links to similar articles and legal theories, and short staff-written blogs and updates.

In our first article, “Keeping the ‘Free’ in Teacher Speech Rights: Protecting Teachers and Their Use of Social Media to Communicate with Students Beyond the Schoolhouse Gates,” Professor Mark Schroeder discusses the national controversy surrounding teachers’ interactions with their students through social media sites. In particular, he explains how state and local school boards across the country have attempted to regulate electronic communications between teachers and students and examines the First Amendment repercussions. He concludes by proposing a more consistent approach for protecting off-campus teacher-student communication that protects most teacher-student speech so long as it does not disrupt the school learning environment.

In our second article, “Taking Note: On Copyrighting Students’ Lecture Notes,” Matthew Pagett addresses the question whether a student owns the copyright in his or her own lecture notes. After analyzing the relevant state and federal law, Pagett suggests what factual circumstances may or may not create a copyright or allow for the infringement of that right with regard to students’ lecture notes.

Finally, in “Exposing Latent Patent Infringement,” Bryan Blumenkopf argues that capability claims have not been more aggressively pursued by patent applicants because their legal power is too new and uncertain to attract opportunistic parties. He examines the current law relating to potentially infringing claims and the policy problems that law presents, and concludes with a possible solution.

The success of JOLT would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of its staff. JOLT appreciates the continuing support from the University of Richmond School of Law community, most especially the guidance we receive from our faculty advisors, Professors Chris Cotropia and Jim Gibson. A special thanks to JOLT’s founder, Rick Klau, for graciously offering his support as JOLT continues to explore new electronic mediums that redefine legal scholarship in today’s world.

We are confident you will enjoy our second issue and our new platform. On behalf of the entire 2012-2013 JOLT staff, I extend our sincerest thanks for your continued readership. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome at jolt.richmond.edu.

Best Regards,

Laura H. Cahill



5. Keeping the “Free” in Teacher Speech Rights: Protecting Teachers and their Use of Social Media to Communicate with Students Beyond the Schoolhouse Gates by Mark Schroeder

6. Taking Note: On Copyrighting Students’ Lecture Notes by Matthew M. Pagett 

7. Exposing Latent Patent Infringement by Bryan Blumenkopf