From Internet Law Treatise
Jump to: navigation, search

ILT Style Guide

This is where the style guide will go. When in doubt, refer to the Blue Book for citation and the AP Stylebook for text. You may find this cheatsheet handy for learning to edit.

Here's somes initial style guidelines:


Case citation

Blue book style, that is italics for the full case name, then the citation to the reporter, then the court and year. i.e. Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes, 111 F.Supp.2d 294 (S.D.N.Y. 2000), aff'd sub nom Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Corley, 273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001). If there is a separate article, use brackets to link to the article. i.e. Religious Tech. Ctr. v. Netcom On-Line Communications Servs., Inc., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995). For Supreme Court cases, use the sct template. See below.

Example: ''[[Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.]]'', {{sct|464|417}} (1984). displays as Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984).

Statute citation

Use bold for the full name of the act, and the usc template for the first reference to federal statutes in an article. See below.

Example: The '''Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998''' provides a safe harbor for online service providers, codified at {{usc|17|512}} displays as The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 provides a safe harbor for online service providers, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 512.


Use of Sections In each Chapter use section headers to divide the article into sections, which autocreate a table of contents. Example: == New section ==, === Subsection === and ==== Sub-subsection ====.

Use the applicable chapter template at the end of each article. i.e. for copyright articles, insert {{copyright}} at the end of the article.

Use categorization as applicable, i.e. [Category:DMCA].

Within wiki-sections, use HTML ordered lists, in outline form: 1, a, i. i.e.<ol><li>Blah<ol type=a><li>Yada<ol type=i><li>Foo</ol></ol></ol> displays as

  1. Blah
    1. Yada
      1. Foo

General Style Issues

  • Avoid abbreviations in running text, except when part of names, certain months, street addresses, courtesy titles or academic degrees. Abbreviate months with six or more letters if they are used with a specific date. Spell out those with five or fewer letters.
  • Avoid acronyms on first reference unless they are so well known that most readers will recognize the reference at first glance, such as FBI, ACLU and DOJ. Do not use periods in acronyms, except for academic degrees. Statutes acronyms should be referenced in a parenthetical, i.e. The Computer Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).
  • Use a comma before a conjunction in a series: The U.S. flag is red, white, and blue. Comma placement can be critical to meaning: compare "the panda eats shoots and leaves" with "the panda eats, shoots, and leaves." Where items in the series themselves contain commas, use semicolons to separate. (Wendy's emendation)
  • Avoid the passive voice whenever possible; use active voice.
  • A lot of people think "alot" is one word, but it is always two words.
  • "That" is used to introduce an essential clause, and "which" is used before a nonessential clause. Example: "Sony v. Universal Studios is a case that is both informative and important to the protection of innovation. The court's recent MGM v. Grokster decision, which addressed peer-to-peer software, introduced a new theory of liability."
  • In text, spell out percent; use the percent sign (%) in tables, graphics and headlines.
  • United States is the proper noun; U.S. is the adjective.


Quoted material that runs more than four lines is usually set as a block quote (i.e. <blockquote>quote</blockquote>). Quotation marks are not needed in blockquotes.

Take care with ellipsis, particularly if you want to shorten direct quotes. Make sure the meaning remains the same.

Periods and commas always go within quotation marks; semicolons and colons go outside. Use single marks for quotes within quotes. If changing capitalization with a quote, use brackets.

Common Words

  • cyberspace
  • database
  • email
  • hyperlink
  • hypertext
  • Internet
  • intranet
  • login
  • logoff
  • logon
  • online
  • shareware
  • website
  • webcast
  • webmaster

Help for Editors

To practice editing, please use the Sandbox.

General information on Editing MediaWiki

General information on the Wiki Markup Format

Here are some tasks you can do - just click on the categories below to see open tasks.

Substantive Tasks:

  • Trademark: Expansion and discussion of the cases addressing keywords in advertising regarding "use in commerce." Compare Geico v. Google, 330 F.Supp. 2d 700 (E.D. Va. 2004) and Edina Realty v. MLS, 2006 WL 737064 (D.Minn., March 20, 2006) with Merck & Co. Inc. v. Mediplan Health Consulting, Inc., 425 F.Supp.2d 402 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) and Rescuecom Corp. v. Google, Inc., Case No. 5:04-CV-1055 (N.D.N.Y., September 28, 2006).
  • Copyright: Expand list of anti-circumvention cases, with summary of fact and holdings of all listed cases.
  • Copyright: Expand discussion of secondary liability, especially inducement.
  • Online Contracts: Two new cases need summary of facts and holding: Ariz. Cartridge Remanufacturers Ass’n v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., 421 F.3d 981 (9th Cir. 2005) and Davidson & Associates, Inc. v. Internet Gateway, Inc., 334 F. Supp. 2d 1164 (E.D. Mo. 2004).
  • Defamation: Many cases listed need parentheticals with short summary of holding.
  • Defamation: Expand section covering Anti-SLAPP laws.
  • Privacy: Add 'Warshak to REOP section; expand.

Organizational Tasks:

  1. The ILT style guide should be expanded.
  1. Many of the pages are not yet style edited, and the list of pages needing copyedits should be extended
  1. The ILT uses subject categories to help with the taxonomy. More categories would be helpful, and of course, a better job placing pages in categories.
  1. The ILT has two types of external link templates, which allow for easy links to United States Code citations and Supreme Court cases. More templates would be useful, as well as editing existing references to use the template.

External Links Templates

  • Sct for Supreme Court cases

The sct template uses two variables, volume and page number for the United States reporter. The format is curly bracket, curly bracket, "sct" then a pipe then the volume number, a pipe, then the page number and finally two curly brackets.

Example: {{sct|464|417}} becomes 464 U.S. 417.

  • F2d and F3d for Federal Courts of Appeal cases

The f2d and f3d templates use two variables, volume and page number for the Federal Reporter, 2nd and 3rd editions respectively. Example: {{f2d|960|301}} becomes 960 F.3d 301, and {{f3d|180|1072}} becomes 180 F.3d 1072.

  • Usc for United States Code

The usc template also uses two variables separated by pipes. The variables are title then section number.

Example: {{usc|17|512}} would have text of 17 U.S.C. § 512 with a link to the copy of the US Code,</nowiki>