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Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2023

Date: Thursday, May 18
Location : San Francisco

The implications of the Gonzalez and Taamneh cases at the Supreme Court; Digital privacy and tracking technology; Issues arising out of next-generation AI tools; Free speech principles for content moderation; EU Digital Services Act update; and Digital Sovereignty

Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Mission Bay Conference Center
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94143

The Media Law Resource Center and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology are proud to present the next in this series of conferences that explores emerging legal issues surrounding digital content in today’s multi-platform world. The Conference will feature sessions running from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18th. Registration fees include a hot lunch (sponsored by Microsoft) and an evening reception (sponsored by Google).

California MCLE Credits credits are expected to be available. If you are seeking credit for another jurisdiction, please check with your state bar to determine if California CLE credits are recognized, through reciprocity, in your jurisdiction.

Conference Co-Chairs

Joshua Koltun
Tenaya Rodewald, SheppardMullin
Krishna Sood, Microsoft

Conference Agenda

(Schedule and speakers to be updated in the coming weeks)

  • Big Stakes for Big Tech at the Supreme Court
    In February, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two key cases, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, in effort to understand the boundaries of content moderation and Section 230 platform immunity.  The Court seemingly struggled to delineate when an interactive computer service acts as a “publisher or speaker” where most user generated content is discovered through the use of algorithms. Our expert panel will address if there is a “neutral” algorithm, whether algorithms can engage in unlawful conduct and whether these are even the correct questions the Court should be asking.
  • Old Privacy Laws, New Targets – Hazards of the Online Media Business
    Plaintiffs class action attorneys are continuously seeking new ways to bring litigation based on purported privacy invasions. Over the past few years, they have tried to adapt long-standing laws with statutory damages provisions to widespread online practices, creating liability hazards for online businesses, including, or even in particular, online media companies. This panel will examine recent litigation involving the Video Privacy Protection Act and wiretapping laws and explore what new litigation trends might be around the corner.
  • Legal Issues with Generative AI Models
    You’ve heard the buzz about generative AI. This panel, moderated by Joe Gratz, clicks down into how these models work, explore how they are being used in everyday applications and the evolving copyright and related legal issues around generative AI.
  • EU Regulatory Update
    Online platforms are working hard to comply with the Digital Services Act and a range of other detailed new EU tech laws, which together cover everything from adtech and app stores to content moderation, dark patterns, and online terrorist content. Meanwhile, the EU legislative machine is busy considering further initiatives, including a Media Freedom Act that will, among other things, regulate the relationship between news publishers and the digital platforms which they use to reach their audiences. This briefing by Remy Chavannes of the Brinkhof firm in Amsterdam will provide a high-level update on the current state of play, and where we may be going next.
  • Digital Sovereignty and Global Impact
    Nations feeling threatened by the power of global technology firms are increasingly turning to a range of measures to regain control: data localization laws, physical presence requirements, state oversight of content moderation, and even shutdowns of social media and communications services. Often, these governmental assertions of sovereignty come at the expense of free expression, democratic norms, and a truly global internet. This session will highlight the challenges of operating in a balkanized regulatory environment and discuss how internet companies are dealing with the legal and ethical issues. 
  • Content Moderation: Free Speech Principles and the Law
    What obligations do online platforms have to enable their users’ freedom of speech? Can those obligations be embodied in law and, if so, where must the law allow space for platforms to experiment with different approaches? With a wave of state legislation and major First Amendment cases pending at the Supreme Court and elsewhere, this session will explore the space between community expectations, ethical standards, and legal regulation.

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