Photo of Kevin Werbach

Kevin Werbach

Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics

Research Interests: digital convergence, internet policy, gamification, telecommunications regulation, online learning innovations

Links: CV, Personal Website, Kevin Werbach (@kwerb) on Twitter

  • LGST222 - Internet Law & Policy

    The Internet has become central to business and daily life. This course looks at how courts, legislatures, and regulators confront the major legal issues that the Internet poses. The fundamental challenge is that law comes from governments and other institutions in specific places, but the Internet is global and virtual. Conflicts such as the shutdown of the Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing service and the debate over "network neutrality" regulations for broadband access illustrate the challenge. How does the legal system think about Google, Skype, Twitter, and Facebook? How should it?

    The material in the course ranges from the foundations of cyberlaw, developed during the e-commerce boom of the 1990s, to current leading-edge questions around social networks, user-generated content, location-based services, cloud computing, and broadband platforms. Major topics include: how legally-enforceable contracts are made online; how courts determine jurisdiction over online transactions; intellectual property rules around digital assets such as music, video, and online texts; control over Internet domain names; liability of intermediaries such as Internet Service Providers and search engines; and online privacy protections. No pre-existing legal or technical knowledge is required.

    LGST222401  ( Syllabus

  • LGST640 - Digital Game Design Techniques for Business: Rules, Incentives, Applications

    Why can't work be fun? And just what is fun, anyway? Leading firms are answering that question through a new business practice called gamification. They are using the techniques of digital game designers to serve objectives as varied as marketing, human resources management, innovation, health and wellness, education, and customer engagement. This course, the first of its kind, examines the mechanisms of gamification and provides an understanding of their effective use.

    The course uses a project-based approach to explore gamification as a design practice, which is rooted in research on human motivation and implemented through online systems and social media. No particular technical skills or game knowledge is required. The course draws upon interdisciplinary source material as well as case studies to identify effective analytical models, strategies, techniques, and metrics for the application of game elements to real-world business context.


  • LGST642 - Big Data, Big Responsibilites: The Law and Ethics of Business Analytics

    Significant technologies always have unintended consequences, and their effects are never neutral. A world of ubiquitous data, subject to ever more sophisticated collection, aggregation, and analysis, creates massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. It also creates dangers in areas such as privacy, security, discrimination, exploitation, and inequality, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. Firms that anticipate the risks of these new practices will be best positioned to avoid missteps. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of big data, predictive analytics, and related techniques. It then examines responses-both private and governmental-that may be employed to address these concerns.

    LGST642001  ( Syllabus

    LGST642002  ( Syllabus