Media Law Resource Center

Serving the Media Law Community Since 1980

Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2008

May 15 and 16, 2008, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Over 120 participants convened at Stanford University this month for a conference organized by MLRC, Stanford Publishing Courses and Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society.  The two-day event, held on May 15-16, 2008 explored emerging legal issues surrounding digital content in today’s multi-platform world.

If you missed the conference (or want to listen to a panel again!), an audio recording of all of the panels are available on iTunes U for free. We've linked them below, or just search for "Legal Frontiers in Digital Media":

Behind the Browser: What You Need to Know About Current and Emerging Internet Technologies

A review of the technologies that power the Internet of today, and a glimpse at the innovations that will shape the user experience of tomorrow. Our technology experts will discuss how information is delivered and displayed to users, how search engines find and index that information, how data scrapers steal it, and how websites protect it. We'll get a tutorial on web analytics, data mining, user profiling, and behavioral targeting of ads. And we'll hear about the technologies on the horizon that will shift the paradigm again.


Bill Allman, General Manager and Chief Content/Creative Officer, The HeathCentral Network, Arlington, VA
Matt Cohen, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, OneSpot.com, Austin, TX
Cody Simms, Senior Director/Product Management, Yahoo! Santa Monica, CA
Rick Smolan, President, Against All Odds Productions, San Francisco, CA


Jon Hart, Member, Dow Lohnes PLLC, Washington, DC

Liability for User-Supplied Content: How Safe Are the Safe Harbors?

Websites and other online intermediaries disseminate torrents of user-generated content, some of which inevitably is unlawful. This panel will explore legal risks that these intermediaries face, and special protections they may enjoy, as platforms for all manner of user-supplied content. Topics include:

  • Have courts reached a consensus about the scope of immunities created by the federal Communications Decency Act?
  • Do websites forfeit CDA immunity by soliciting, channeling or editing user-supplied material?
  • Does the Digital Millenium Copyright Act adequately protect copyright owners' rights, or does it unnecessarily squelch free speech?
  • Are social networking sites accountable for real-world harms that may follow seemingly innocuous online liaisons?


J. Anthony Kline, Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, 1st District, San Francisco, CA
Alfred Perry, VP Business and Legal Affairs, Paramount Pictures, Hollywood, CA
Steve Tapia, Senior Attorney, Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Nicole Wong, Deputy General Counsel/Products & IP, Google, Mountain View, CA


Patrick J. Carome, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC

Digital Privacy Protection and Liability: Nobody Knows the Data I've Seen

Media and online experts will address privacy concerns, protections, and potential liabilities. The panel will cover data collection (including cookies, privacy policies, and FTC enforcement), data security risks and requirements (phishing, spyware, inadvertent disclosure), behavioral tracking & targeting (including the new FTC "Online Behavioral Advertising Privacy Principles"), international privacy requirements, subpoenas for user information, and more.


James Chadwick, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, Palo Alto, CA
Chris Hoofnagle, U.C. Berkeley's Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic; and Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, Berkeley, CA
Susan Infantino, Sr. Product Counsel, Google, Mountain View, CA


Sherrese Smith, Deputy General Counsel, Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive, Arlington, VA

Content, Copyright and Fair Use

This panel will consider new and emerging content licensing opportunities and whether a license is always necessary. With potential exposures including copyright, trademark and right of publicity infringements, the panel will discuss when it is most appropriate to license content and when to rely on exceptions/defenses such as fair use. The panel will consider the limits of such exceptions and defenses as well as the ramifications of licensing content.


Anthony Falzone, Executive Director/Fair Use Project, Stanford Center for Internet & Society, Stanford, CA
Zahavah Levine, General Counsel & VP Business Affairs, YouTube, San Bruno, CA
Alison Wauk, Assistant General Counsel, CBS Corporation, Los Angeles, CA


Andrew P. Bridges, Partner, Winston & Strawn, San Francisco, CA

Emerging Issues in Mobile Content Distribution

Via mobile devices, consumers are increasingly watching video, reading the news, finding restaurant locations and reviews, blogging, and consuming various other content and services. Recent development in mobile service delivery is rapidly creating new content distribution opportunities for carriers and new media companies alike. This session addresses current business models for mobile content distribution, and examines emerging content liability, advertising and licensing issues, the explosion of mobile content, and the effect of mobile devices on the new generation of "tweeners."


Rajeev Chand, Managing Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst, Wireless, Rutberg & Company LLC, San Francisco, CA
Jodi Sherman Jahic, Principal, Voyager Capital, Menlo Park, CA
Victoria Libin, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, MTV Networks West Coast Digital, San Francisco, CA
Jeffrey Neuburger, Partner, Proskauer Rose, New York, NY


Daniel M. Waggoner, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Seattle, WA

Advertising Rules of the Future

This session examines the legal issues that advertisers, counselors, courts and policymakers will confront as online advertising models change, and considers the key factual determinations that will - or should - shape the online advertising rules of the future. Our panel will look at emerging issues in keyword advertising, metatags, behavioral advertising, ad syndication models and more with a focus on how evidence about consumers' actual perception and interaction with online advertising formats should determine legal rules and outcomes.


Eric Goldman, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the High Tech Law Institute , Santa Clara University Law School , Santa Clara, CA
Jason Ryning, Attorney, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA
Lee Tien, Senior Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation, San Francisco, CA


Scott Dailard, Member, Dow Lohnes PLLC, Washington, DC

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