Media Law Resource Center

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Curriculum – 2015 Legal Frontiers in Digital Media


The conference, a joint production of the Media Law Resource Center and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, explores emerging legal issues surrounding digital content in today’s multi-platform world.  Our 2015 Digital Conference will be held May 14th & 15th, 2015 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.  The Conference will feature six sessions running from 1:00 p.m. on May 14, with an early evening reception, through 1:00 p.m. on May 15.

UC Berkeley School of Law certifies that this activity has been approved for 6.25 hours MCLE credit by the State Bar of California.  Please note that CLE credits will not be available for the third session, The New Networks: Tech Journalists on Content Management in an Over-the-Top World.  Also, please check with your state bar to determine if California MCLE credits are recognized in your jurisdiction.

Conference co-chairs:

  • Jonathan Blavin, Munger, Tolles & Olson
  • Benjamin Glatstein, Microsoft

Chairs Emeritus:

  • Timothy Alger, Perkins Coie
  • Rosemarie Ring, Munger Tolles & Olson
  • Regina Thomas, AOL Inc.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

1) Preparing for the Next Round in Net Neutrality
(1:10 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.)

This session will begin with a technical tutorial on the architecture of the Internet to provide a solid basis for a discussion about net neutrality -- how edge providers send traffic to ISPs, how "peering," "throttling," and "fast lanes" work in the real world, and how the Internet can support services such as high-definition video streaming at scale. Our panel will then discuss the FCC's controversial decision applying common-carrier regulation to the Internet, discuss how digital stakeholders from start-ups to massive infrastructure players will be impacted by the new FCC regulations, analyze the appeals and potential for Congressional action, and explore what's at stake for all members of the Internet community.

Kurt Wimmer, Partner, Covington & Burling (Moderator)
Jonathan Mayer, Cybersecurity Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University (Tutorial)
Evan Engstrom, Policy Director, Engine
Dave Kumar, Partner, Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wright LLP
Berin Szoka, President, TechFreedom


2) Managing the International Legal Needs of Digital Media
(2:40 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.)

Counsel will discuss their experiences coping with the demands of a cross-border legal environment as a practical matter: evaluating international needs, finding and working with counsel, dealing with foreign governments and crisis management. When do you worry that your company's activities will trigger international scrutiny or liability? Do you have counsel on call in every country where there might be jurisdiction, or just in some? Which substantive legal issues should concern you the most on an international basis? These are just some of the questions our seasoned panel of attorneys will tackle.

Matt Sucherman, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Google, Inc. (Moderator)
Ben Allgrove, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP (UK)
Ben Lee, Legal Counsel, Twitter
Michelle Paulson, Senior Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
Hilary Ware, VP & Associate General Counsel, Netflix

3) The New Networks: Tech Journalists on Content Management in an Over-the-Top World
(4:10 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.)

Content bundles are fraying as one content producer after another announces that it is going "over the top" – streaming content that is accessible online without the need for a traditional cable television subscription. Format distinctions driven by traditional commercial models are breaking down as network shows rub shoulders with feature films, original programming from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, and YouTube videos. Smart TVs offer menus of on-demand services reminiscent of channel listings, while mobile remains an entirely different game.

How will audiences manage this new world of content? Will "new networks" emerge to draw these strands back together, or will viewers need to adapt to an open environment with diverse sources? A panel of tech journalists with an eye on the future will discuss what's coming next.

Ned Desmond, Chief Operating Officer, TechCrunch (Moderator)
Michael Gorman, Editor in Chief, Engadget
Bob O'Donnell, Founder and Chief Analyst, TECHnalysis Research
Martin Peers, Senior Editor, the Information

Friday, May 15, 2015

4) Probing the Outer Limits of Section 230
(8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.)

Some companies are hoping the CDA will protect them even as they engage in activities in the physical world, while at the same time, courts are pushing back in certain areas, even where the claim involves publisher activities. Our expert panel will discuss:

• The real-world impact of Roomates.com's "material contribution" standard for participating in the development of the actionable content.
• What makes Doe v. Internet Brands different from prior cases against MySpace and Match.com?
• Can legal duties be distinguished from publication liability?
• Where are the Section 230 boundaries now, and where should they be?

Timothy Alger, Partner, Perkins Coie (Moderator)
Patrick Carome, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP
Kai Falkenberg, Visiting Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
David Gingras, Attorney, Gingras Law Office, PLLC
Eric Goldman, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law
Liz McDougall, General Counsel, Backpage.com

5) What's Fair is Foul: Has The Transformative Use Doctrine Transformed Copyright Law For Better or Worse?
(10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)

Fair use and the bounds of the transformational use have been front and center in a range of copyright cases this past year. A panel of experts from all sides of the fair use landscape will discuss fair use as it applies to search, digitization and accessibility. Are mass digitization projects simply mass infringement? Is fair use leaving room for legitimate business models? How much transformation is enough? We'll address all these questions and more.

Dave Green, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft (Moderator)
Dale Cendali, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis
Joseph Gratz, Partner, Durie Tangri
Peter Menell, Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law
Joseph Petersen, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend


6) Recent Developments in Digital Privacy & Data Security
(11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.)

As information increasingly moves to the cloud, as systems become ever more interconnected, and as remote access to data becomes the norm, issues concerning digital privacy and data security have come to the fore.  The aggregation and sharing of information in digital environments have led to significant innovations and improvements in commerce, services, and other aspects of our lives.  Yet reports of cyberattacks, snooping, and misuse of information can seem almost commonplace, and consumers, citizens, and businesses alike have become more concerned and engaged.  Our top-flight panel of practitioners will explore an array of timely topics, such as new government regulation in the area of privacy and security; the role of government investigations and enforcement actions and private class action litigation in remedying unlawful conduct; and shaping future behavior, and steps that companies should be taking now to reduce and address potential cybersecurity and liability risks.

Matthew D. Brown, Partner, Cooley (Moderator)
Blake Lawit, Vice President, Legal, LinkedIn
Nicole Ozer, Tech Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California
Ben Richman, Partner, Edelson P.C.
Rosemarie Ring, Partner, Munger Tolles & Olson

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