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Legal Frontiers in Digital Media 2023

Date: Thursday, May 18
Location : San Francisco

Our annual conference for legal practitioners on emerging issues at the intersection of digital media, freedom of speech and the law

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 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18th. Registration fees include a hot lunch (sponsored by Microsoft) and an evening reception at 5:30 p.m. (sponsored by Google).

This event has been approved for 5.5 California MCLE credits. 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, Attorney
Tenaya Rodewald, SheppardMullin
Krishna Sood, Microsoft

Conference Schedule and Agenda

9:30 am – 10:00 am

Opening Remarks
10:00 am – 10:10 am

Big Stakes for Big Tech at the Supreme Court
10:10 am – 11:10 am

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.

Jennifer A. Dukarski, Shareholder, Butzel (Moderator)
Corbin K. Barthold, Internet Policy Counsel, TechFreedom
Laura Bisesto, Head of Policy & Privacy, Nextdoor
Mike Masnick, Founder & Editor, Techdirt

Fifteen Minute Break

Content Moderation: Free Speech Principles and the Law
11:25 am – 12:25 pm
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.

Jeff Hermes, Deputy Director, Media Law Resource Center (Moderator)
Cathy Gellis, Attorney and Techdirt contributor
Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontières
Alan Rozenshtein, Associate Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School
Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

One Hour Lunch Break – Hot Lunch to Be Provided (Sponsored by Microsoft). At lunchtime, there will be an AI demo for attendees to try out. Also, for all registrants who have practiced law for under 10 years, there will be an informal gathering sponsored by MLRC’s Next Generation Committee for such lawyers to meet one another.

Legal Issues with Generative AI Models
1:25 pm – 2:25 pm
You’ve heard the buzz about generative AI. This panel 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. This session will cover a multitude of novel legal questions arising from the use of generative AI, including copyrightability of works created using generative AI, fair use issues related to the use of copyrighted works to train AI models, and other speech-related issues that may arise out of the use of generative AI outputs.

Justin Haan, Partner, Morrison Foerster (Moderator)
Che Chang, Deputy General Counsel, OpenAI
Max Sills, General Counsel, Midjourney
Krishna Sood, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft

Five-minute stretch break

EU Regulatory Update: From the Digital Services Act to the Media Freedom Act
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
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 will provide a high-level update on the current state of play, and where we may be going next.

Remy Chavannes, Partner, Brinkhof

Fifteen-minute snack break

Digital Sovereignty and Global Impact
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
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. 

Steve Crown, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft (Moderator)
David Kaye, Director, International Justice Clinic, UC Irvine
Daphne Keller, Director, Program on Platform Regulation, Stanford Cyber Policy Center
Chloe Poynton, Co-Founder & Principal, Article One
Mark Stephens, CBE, Partner, Howard Kennedy

Ten-minute break

Old Privacy Laws, New Targets – Hazards of the Online Media Business
4:25 pm – 5:25 pm
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.

Tenaya Rodewald, Partner, SheppardMullin (Moderator)
Andy Medlin, VP and General Counsel, Hot Topic, Inc.
Fred Norton, Partner, The Norton Law Firm
Marc Zwillinger, Founder & Managing Member, ZwillGen

Cocktail Reception (Sponsored by Google)

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

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