Media Law Resource Center

Serving the Media Law Community Since 1980


Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2017


The annual conference on emerging legal issues surrounding digital publishing and content distribution


Computer History Museum
Mountain View, CA
May 18th & 19th, 2017

A Joint Conference of

  • Media Law Resource Center
  • The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology

The conference explores emerging legal issues surrounding digital content in today's multi-platform world. The Conference will feature six sessions running from 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, with an early evening reception, through 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19.


This year's conference will include:

  • Transfer of Title: The Future of Net Neutrality in the Wake of Internet Deregulation
    The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has announced his intention to repeal the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order that had brought the internet under Title II common carrier regulation and to reclassify ISPs as Title I information services. There is sure to be a contentious battle over these new rules and a fierce debate about the prospects for net neutrality if broadband is reclassified. Our discussion will try to rise above the rhetoric and provide tech lawyers with practical information on how publishers, platforms and content providers can position themselves and prepare in the wake of this major policy shift.

  • Cracks in the Safe Harbor: Digital Copyright at Home and Abroad
    Copyrights are granted globally and digital content on platforms is distributed globally. Therefore publishers and digital platforms must consider a global approach to content management and copyright. In the U.S., the notice and takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act give platforms breathing room to avoid liability for the distribution of user generated content – though an array of new case law adds complexity to DMCA safe harbor compliance. European copyright law, on the other hand, increasingly appears to protect publishers and other rightsholders from digital platforms, which may be viewed as a threat. A recent CJEU decision, GS Media v. Sanoma Media, creates uncertainty at the least, and could create, in certain circumstances, copyright liability for mere linking to infringing materials. Similarly, at both the national and EU level, copyright reforms are being proposed and adopted that create new rights for publishers and burdens for digital platforms.

  • Europe's War on U.S. Platforms
    Many government entities in the EU appear to be gunning for U.S.-based digital companies. This is reflected in the new copyright law discussed in the earlier panel, but is also seen in a variety of data protection & privacy regulations (GDPR, Privacy Shield, right to be forgotten (including possibility of requiring global search removals under Google Spain, and expansion of RTBF beyond search engines), and increasing discomfort among U.S. platforms that the EU is seeking to project its law and values on the rest of the world. This panel will attempt to better understand Europe's way of thinking about these issues and offer strategies for digital companies – not just the big players – but smaller startups that will have to grapple with the unintended consequences of the long arm of European regulations.  This session will open with a Keynote speech from Yale Law School Dean, Robert Post, based on his paper, "The News about Google Spain: Management, Civility, and The Right to Be Forgotten."

  • Bridging Divides: Interfacing with Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies
    This session will bring together government agents and in-house counsel, who often must call upon one another to investigate and stop cyber threats from hackers, terrorist organizations and violent extremist groups. What issues arise when digital companies seek the aid of government in response to hacking and other online threats, including those from state actors like Russia and North Korea? How should platforms respond to government requests for cooperation in stopping terrorists from recruiting and spreading propaganda, while maintaining principles of free speech, transparency, and privacy? Where should digital companies draw the line on permitting intrusive surveillance and data requests? Our panel will explore the state of the relationship between tech and government and attempt to find common ground.

  • Online Community Values: Free Speech and Social Responsibility in Privately Owned Forums. This panel will explore increasingly common (and sometimes controversial) situations where digital companies must balance free speech, liberty, security and other interests of their users (along with the platform's own right to speak and create an atmosphere that is representative of its corporate values) where the law doesn't demand a particular action. This session will consider such topics as harassment, cyberbullying, hate speech and fake news.

  • Under Fire: The Front Lines of Recent Section 230 Battles During the past year or so, a number of court decisions have chipped away at the protection of Section 230. Recently, courts have appeared receptive to claims that fall outside the usual ambit of publishing torts, and are increasingly placing more burdens on internet service providers that host third-party content. Our expert panel will review the current landscape of Section 230 litigation, and highlight areas of concern for the coming years.

    UC Berkeley School of Law certifies that this activity has been approved for 7.25 general hours MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. If you are seeking credit for another jurisdiction, please check with your state bar to determine if California MCLE credits are recognized, through reciprocity, in your jurisdiction.

    Questions? Contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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