In the past decade or so, many content hosting intermediaries took down by default as little as possible, in the name of openness, free speech, and non-intervention, and underwritten by the broad immunity provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. With increased attention to online harassment, hate speech, public shaming, and intimidation, however, it seems that intermediaries are changing course and doing more than the minimum required by CDA 230. Likewise, Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides intermediaries with immunity for copyright infringement based on user content, so long as the platforms follow the notice-take down procedure. But this take down procedure is often abused by rightsholders to the effect of stifling creative expression that is protected by fair use or is simply non-infringing. In response to this trend, some intermediaries are similarly changing course to scrutinize the merits of take down notices in order to minimize such abuses, at the risk of losing their immunity.
This panel, moderated by Mike Masnick
of Techdirt and comprised of lawyers from Meetup
, and Medium, will focus on the question of - what next? It will address issues including:
- How are intermediaries trying to create fair, scalable, and sustainable processes that balance users’ freedom of online expression with their freedom from harassment and intimidation and abusive assertion of copyright?
- How intermediaries use policy to foster the kind of community they want on their platforms (ie, a code of conduct can aim for higher standards than mere compliance with applicable law)
- How intermediaries deal with one off decisions versus fear of creating jurisprudence (e.g. if we consider this particular sentence as hate speech, what else do we need to take down?)
- What legal, normative, and technological strategies do they draw on?
- How intermediaries treat defamation and IP claims from outside the U.S.? (how intermediaries deal with wanting brand conformity across the globe but need to take into account local laws and local culture)
- How should intermediaries approach trademark claims, which are outside the scope of the copyright regime of the DMCA