Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Geiger and Izyumenko on Freedom of Expression as an External Limitation to Copyright Law in the EU @ElenaIzyumenko

Christophe Geiger and Elena Izyumenko, both of the Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI, are publishing Freedom of Expression as an External Limitation to Copyright Law in the EU: The Advocate General of the CJEU Shows the Way in the European Intellectual Property Review for 2019. Here is the abstract.

This article analyses the recent Opinion delivered by the Advocate General Szpunar of the CJEU in the “Afghanistan Papers” case. It highlights, in particular, four crucial points that stand out in the Opinion. First, the adoption of a fundamental right perspective when evaluating copyright regulation in general. Second, the need to ensure that copyright’s internal mechanisms designed to take into account the fundamental right to free expression (i.e., the idea/expression dichotomy, the criteria for protection such as the originality requirement and the exceptions and limitations) are interpreted in a manner that gives full effect to freedom of expression. The presence of such mechanisms should, third, by no means be understood as immunising copyright from any further freedom of expression scrutiny: according to the Advocate General, if on the contrary fundamental rights are not sufficiently taken into account by the existing copyright system, there are circumstances when the exclusive rights “must yield to an overriding interest relating to the implementation of a fundamental right or freedom” – an explicit admittance (for the first time at EU level) of the admissibility of an external limitation to copyright by freedom of expression. Finally, the Opinion highlights the unacceptability of misusing copyright for the purposes not corresponding to its rationales and its social function.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 13, 2018 | Permalink

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Woman Who Published, and Signed, the Declaration of Independence

From Smithsonian Magazine, a piece about Mary Katherine Goddard, the newspaper publisher who printed and signed the Declaration of Independence in January 1777. She also served as postmaster of Baltimore, until the first Postmaster General appointed a man instead.

December 12, 2018 | Permalink

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New From LSU Press: Eric P. Robinson, Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law @lsupress

Newly published: Eric P. Robinson, University of South Carolina, has published Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law (LSU Press, 2018). Here, from the publisher's website, is a description of the book's contents.

In the years following the landmark United States Supreme Court decision on libel law in New York Times v. Sullivan, the court ruled on a number of additional cases that continued to shape the standards of protected speech. As part of this key series of judgments, the justices explored the contours of the Sullivan ruling and established the definition of “reckless disregard” as it pertains to “actual malice” in the case of St. Amant v. Thompson. While an array of scholarly and legal literature examines Sullivan and some subsequent cases, the St. Amant case—once called “the most important of the recent Supreme Court libel decisions”—has not received the attention it warrants. Eric P. Robinson’s Reckless Disregard corrects this omission with a thorough analysis of the case and its ramifications. The history of St. Amant v. Thompson begins with the contentious 1962 U.S. Senate primary election in Louisiana, between incumbent Russell Long and businessman Philemon “Phil” A. St. Amant. The initial lawsuit stemmed from a televised campaign address in which St. Amant attempted to demonstrate Long’s alleged connections with organized crime and corrupt union officials. Although St. Amant’s claims had no effect on the outcome of the election, a little-noticed statement he made during the address—that money had “passed hands” between Baton Rouge Teamsters leader Ed Partin and East Baton Rouge Parish deputy sheriff Herman A. Thompson—led to a defamation lawsuit that ultimately passed through the legal system to the Supreme Court. A decisive step in the journey toward the robust protections that American courts provide to comments about public officials, public figures, and matters of public interest, St. Amant v. Thompson serves as a significant development in modern American defamation law. Robinson’s study deftly examines the background of the legal proceedings as well as their social and political context. His analysis of how the Supreme Court ruled in this case reveals the justices’ internal deliberations, shedding new light on a judgment that forever changed American libel law.
Reckless Disregard - Cover

December 11, 2018 | Permalink

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: The Journalists Who Seek Out, and Speak Truth

Time Magazine has named its person of the year: journalists, whom it has described as the guardians who speak out about truth, all around the world. Here's a link to the magazine's cover story on them, and on what Time identifies as the War on Truth. Time says in part,

This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat. Three decades after the Cold War defeat of a blunt and crude autocracy, a more clever brand takes nourishment from the murk that surrounds us. The old-school despot embraced censorship. The modern despot, finding that more difficult, foments mistrust of credible fact, thrives on the confusion loosed by social media and fashions the illusion of legitimacy from supplicants.

December 11, 2018 | Permalink

Monday, December 10, 2018

Shapira on How the Legal System Facilitates Investigative Journalism

Roy Shapira, Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Interdisciplinary Center, is publishing Law As Source: How the Legal System Facilitates Investigative Journalism in volume 37 of the Yale Law & Policy Review. Here is the abstract.

Legal scholars have long recognized that the media plays a key role in assuring the proper functioning of political and business markets. Yet we have understudied the role of law in assuring effective media scrutiny. This Article develops a theory of law as source. The basic premise is that the law not only regulates what the media can or cannot say, but also facilitates media scrutiny by producing information. Specifically, law enforcement actions, such as litigation or regulatory investigations, extract information on the behavior of powerful players in business or government. Journalists can then translate the information into biting investigative reports and diffuse them widely, thereby shaping players’ reputations and norms. Levels of accountability in society are therefore not simply a function of the effectiveness of the courts as a watchdog or the media as a watchdog, but rather a function of the interactions between the two watchdogs. This Article approaches, from multiple angles, the questions of how and how much the media relies on legal sources. I analyze the content of projects that won investigative reporting prizes in the past two decades; interview forty veteran reporters; scour a reporters-only database of tip sheets and how-to manuals; go over syllabi of investigative reporting courses; and synthesize insights from the communication science and economics of information literatures. The triangulation of these different methods produces three sets of insights. First, this Article establishes that legal sources matter: in today’s information environment, court documents, depositions, and regulatory reports are often the most instrumental sources of accountability journalism. Second, the Article identifies how and why legal sources matter: they extract quality information on the (mis)behavior of powerful players in a credible, libel-proof manner. Finally, recognizing the function of law as source opens up space for rethinking important legal institutions according to how they contribute to information production. In the process, we get to reevaluate timely debates, such as the desirability of one-sided arbitration clauses, which have been at the center of recent Trump Administration orders and Supreme Court decisions.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 10, 2018 | Permalink

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ECHRts: Hungarian Statute Imposing Strict Liability For Linking To Defamatory Content Is Violation of ECHR, Article 10

New ruling from the European Court of Human Rights: a Hungarian law imposing strict liability for the dissemination of defamatory material violates Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. From the press release concerning Magyar Jeti Zrt v Hungary (application no. 11257/16):


Relying on Article 10 (freedom of expression), the applicant company complained that by finding it liable for posting a hyperlink on its website which led to defamatory content the domestic courts had unduly restricted its rights....The Court highlighted the importance of hyperlinks for the smooth operation of the Internet by making information available through linking. When it came to reporting, hyperlinks were different from other traditional acts of publication as they did not present content or communicate it, but directed users to information available elsewhere or called readers’ attention to its existence. The content behind a hyperlink had also already been made available by the original publisher, providing unrestricted access to the public. Given such considerations the Court did not agree with the Hungarian courts’ approach of equating the posting of a hyperlink with the dissemination of defamatory information, which led to objective liability....Such objective liability could have negative consequences on the flow of information on the Internet by impelling authors and publishers to refrain altogether from hyperlinking to material whose content they could not control. That could directly or indirectly have a chilling effect on freedom of expression on the Internet.

Here is a link to the ruling.

December 5, 2018 | Permalink

Long on Copyright Reform in the 21st Century: Adding Privacy Considerations Into the Normative Mix

Doris Estelle Long, John Marshall Law School, is publishing Copyright Reform in the 21st Century: Adding Privacy Considerations into the Normative Mix in Making Copyright Work for the Asian Pacific: Juxtaposing Harmonisation with Flexibility (ANU Press 2018). Here is the abstract.

The new technology of the ‘Digital Age’ has led to the creation of potentially new copyrightable forms of works and new methods of distribution that do not automatically fit within existing paradigms based on a hard-goods world. As a result, copyright reform efforts are underway in jurisdictions as diverse as Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the European Union (EU), Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the United States. To avoid the mistakes of the past, and create reforms whose effectiveness survives more than a few years, we must consider a broader array of normative inputs, including, critically the inter-relationship between copyright and personal and data privacy. In the 21st Century such privacy concerns are no longer adjuncts to issues of copyright protection but instead increasingly impact the scope and effectiveness of such protection. Using examples from the United States, Canada, the European Union and the Asia Pacific, I explore the impact of privacy considerations on such diverse issues as the author/subject dichotomy, fair use/fair dealing, digital enforcement mechanisms, including notice and takedown regimes, anticircumvention protections, database and other data collections, and distributional relief, including injunctions and suggest the shape that such reforms might take. Adding privacy concerns to copyright reformation considerations will not simplify the process. But the resulting normative framework could provide a copyright regime that not only provides a balance more in concert with the social justice and access to information/culture concerns but also remains viable regardless of what the next technological revolution may bring.

Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

December 5, 2018 | Permalink

Goldman and Ziccarelli on Emojis and IP Law @ericgoldman @IPwithGZ

Eric Goldman and Gabriella Ziccarelli, both of Santa Clara University School of Law, have published Emojis and Intellectual Property Law. Here is the abstract.

Everyone loves emojis, and why not? They are a fun and an increasingly ubiquitous way for people to express themselves. But despite their superficial frivolity, emojis can raise potentially complex and serious legal issues, including novel and complicated questions about intellectual property (IP). This essay surveys how United States IP law protects emojis, and why such protection may be problematic.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 5, 2018 | Permalink

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Chmel, Savin, and Delli Carpini on Making Politics Attractive: Political Satire and Exposure To Political Information in New Media Environment in Russia @AnnenbergPenn

Kirill Chmel and Nikita Savin, both of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Michael X. Delli Carpini, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, have published Making Politics Attractive: Political Satire and Exposure to Political Information in New Media Environment in Russia as Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 63/PS/2018. Here is the abstract.

There is an extensive body of research devoted to how political satire affects political knowledge and political behavior. Extant studies are focused on political satire in democratic countries and do not pay enough attention to authoritarian regimes. This study extends this research to non-democratic regimes, while also adding to it by exploring the extent to which the use of political satire encourages exposure to political information. We conduct an online experiment on the sample of Russian students. We borrow satirical pictures from Lentach – popular Russian social media public page, whose motto is “a propaganda of common sense” as opposed to biased political messages proliferated by government-controlled media outlets. Using both frequentist and Bayesian approaches, we found that access to political information containing satirical illustrating content increases attention to the information, relative to political news reports accompanied by standard news illustrations. The findings contribute to the literature on the political entertainment and exposure to political information, as well as to research on media under authoritarianism.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 4, 2018 | Permalink

Gould on Whether the "Hate" In Hate Speech Is the "Hate" In Hate Crime @rrgould

Rebecca Gould, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham; Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies is publishing Is the ‘Hate’ in Hate Speech the ‘Hate’ in Hate Crime? Waldron and Dworkin on Political Legitimacy in Jurisprudence. Here is the abstract.

Among the most persuasive arguments against hate speech bans was made by Ronald Dworkin, who warned of the threat to political legitimacy posed by laws that deny those subject to them adequate opportunity for dissent. In his influential defence of hate speech bans, Jeremy Waldron addresses these objections. Dworkin’s concern with political legitimacy is misplaced, he argues, given the provision speech bans make for substituting permissible modes of expression for impermissible ones. I argue that this defence of speech bans misidentifies the “hate” in hate speech with the “hate” in hate crime. In contesting Dworkin, Waldron fails to contend with the necessarily entangled criminalisation of manner and viewpoint entailed in hate speech bans. By failing to grapple with the way in which every linguistic sign is constituted by both manner and viewpoint, Waldron sidesteps the ways in which hate speech bans undermine political legitimacy within liberal democracies.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 4, 2018 | Permalink

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hudson on Justice Kennedy and the First Amendment @BelmontLaw

David L. Hudson, Jr., has published Justice Kennedy and the First Amendment at 9 Houston Law Review Off the Record 49 (2019). Here is the abstract.

This essay reviews some of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s most significant contributions to First Amendment jurisprudence. These include his calls for absolute protection for pure political speech, his strong protection for commercial speech, his distaste for campaign finance reform laws that censored speech, his general concern for the silencing of sexual expression, his coercion test in Establishment Clause cases, and his significant failure in the public-employee free-speech decision Garcetti v. Ceballos.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

December 3, 2018 | Permalink

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Craig on Critical Copyright Law and the Politics of "IP" @CraigCarys

Carys J. Craig, Osgoode Hall Law School, is publishing Critical Copyright Law and the Politics of 'IP', in Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory (Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes & Marco Goldoni, eds., Edward Elgar Press, forthcoming 2019). Here is the abstract of the draft chapter.

Since its explosion late in the twentieth century, the field of intellectual property scholarship has been a vibrant site for critical legal theorizing. Indeed, it is arguable that US-based intellectual property scholarship effectively generated a resurgence or ‘second wave’ of Critical Legal Studies. Exploring critical engagement with the very idea of ‘intellectual property’ and its conceptual counterpart, the ‘public domain,’ this chapter suggests that a vast swath of the copyright scholarship that has bloomed over the past few decades, as copyright has expanded in its reach and relevance, builds implicitly or explicitly on insights gleaned from legal realism, Critical Legal Studies, and their intellectual progeny—critical feminism and critical race theory. Moreover, it is argued, these critical approaches to copyright law offer the most challenging and promising route by which to understand, dissect and reshape modern intellectual property structures.

Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

November 28, 2018 | Permalink

New Belarusian Regulation Requires Posters To Identify Themselves

Via Bloomberg News: a new Belarusian regulation now requires people to verify their identities before they can post comments on Internet sites. The rule takes effect December 1, 2018. More here.

The country has a history of censorship regarding the Internet. Here's a 2017 assessment of Internet freedom in Belarus from Freedom House. The report reads in part:

The government temporarily blocked some independent digital media outlets during politically sensitive times within the coverage period, including in the lead-up to the September 2016 parliamentary elections and around the antigovernment protests of spring 2017. In an apparent attempt to prevent users from bypassing government censorship, the authorities introduced a new law blocking anonymizing service Tor.




Techdirt had this assessment from 2012 regarding reports that the country's government was limiting or prohibiting Internet access after it adopted a new statute regulating activities through the Internet.
So while it is by no means true that Belarus has made accessing all sites outside the country illegal, it has certainly made it risky, if not impossible, to buy stuff on external sites. Worse, it confirms that Internet users must be spied upon, and "forbidden" sites must be blocked; taken together, these new measures allow the government of Belarus to exert extremely tight control over Internet users in the country. Moreover, with these systems in place, severing Belarus from the Internet for real would be relatively easy, if its government decided to take that extreme step.
Here's additional commentary from EDRi in 2010, noting that new regulations requiring website registration and data collection of some users went into effect that year.

November 28, 2018 | Permalink

Sheff on Philosophical Approaches To Intellectual Property Law Scholarship @jnsheff

Jeremy N. Sheff, St. John's University School of Law, is publishing Philosophical Approaches to Intellectual Property Law Scholarship in Handbook on Intellectual Property Research (Irene Calboli & Maria Lillà Montagnani, eds., Oxford University Press) (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

Intellectual property (IP) law and philosophy is an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship that applies insights and methods from philosophy to the legal, normative, theoretical, political, and empirical questions presented by the project of organizing and regulating the creation and dissemination of knowledge, technology, and culture. In this chapter, I outline four types of IP-law-and-philosophy scholarship, focusing specifically on the discipline of analytic philosophy (with appropriate caveats about the coherence of that discipline). These modes of scholarship can be categorized as (1) the jurisprudence of the IP system, (2) philosophical analysis of IP law, (3) applied philosophy in IP, and (4) normative theory of IP. Category (4) is obviously a special case of category (3), focusing specifically on applications of moral philosophy. Within each category, I provide illustrative examples of past scholarship and suggestions for further research.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

November 28, 2018 | Permalink

Monday, November 26, 2018

Call for Papers: 2019 University of Massachusetts Law Review Roundtable Symposium on Law and Media

From the mailbox:

The UMass Law Review has issued the following call for papers. Download the call in PDF here, and please share it with any interested scholarly communities.





November 14, 2018


We are pleased to announce the 2019 UMass Law Review Roundtable Symposium, currently titled “Law and Media.” In the age where the 24/7 news cycle and social media have impacted current politics and where data protection, personal branding, and technology have affected entertainment and media as well as the rule of law, an investigation of the relationship between law and the media of our current times is timely and warranted. Accordingly, the UMass Law Review seeks thoughtful, insightful, and original presentations relating to the impact of the law on media as well as the impact of media on the law.


Interested participants should submit a 500-word abstract to, with “Attn: Conference Editor – Symposium Submission” in the subject line by December 31st, 2018 for consideration. Selected participants will be notified by the end of January and invited to present their work at the 2019 UMass Law Review Symposium taking place in late March of 2019. Selected participants may also submit a scholarly work for potential publication in the 2019-2020 UMass Law Review Journal. If you have questions about submissions or the Symposium, please contact our Business/Conference Editor, Casey Shannon or Editor-In-Chief, Kayla Venckauskas ( We thank you in advance for your submission.




Kayla Venckauskas



Casey Shannon

Business/Conference Editor

November 26, 2018 | Permalink

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Blank on City Speech

Yishai Blank, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, is publishing City Speech in volume 54 of the Harv. C.R.-C.L. Rev. Here is the abstract.

Cities speak. A rich array of expressive activities, city speech, surrounds us. Cities topple confederate monuments, fly LGBT flags on City Hall, erect monuments commemorating victims of sexual violence, and issue statements that oppose the policies of state and federal governments. They disseminate information concerning climate change, hydraulic fracking, and the impact of minimum wage on poorer populations. They participate in statewide ballot initiatives, and they hire lobbyists to advocate for litigation. But cities have to obtain permission from states to do these things, and increasingly, they are being silenced. In our era of political polarization, states have become hostile to local policymaking, and thus have begun to employ silencing measures to prohibit a variety of expressive activities by cities. City speech embodies the values of localism, of the First Amendment, and of federalism. It promotes democratic self-government, policy experimentation and innovation, representation of minority views, and economic efficiency and redistribution. It also promotes the ongoing search for truth and the flourishing of an open marketplace of ideas. Cities are structured, legally and politically, to excel at speech. They are separately and democratically elected institutions that function as frontline posts for policymaking, regularly facing economic, social, environmental and political challenges. They are relatively small, nimble and responsive and thus well placed to stir democratic civic engagement in politics. Cities are diverse in their social, economic, religious, ethnic, racial and political composition, hence their plural expressions reflect the diverse nature of our nation better than other levels of government. These values are threatened by the silencing measures lately adopted by many states. This Article proposes that city speech should enjoy the constitutional protection of the First Amendment. Such protection is necessary to withstand the state-led threat to the values of city speech. In contrast to one traditional view of cities as creatures of the state, the Article argues that there is a doctrinal path for the recognition of city speech as a constitutional and organizational right. Cities are hybrid creatures of government and of corporation, and legal doctrine has long viewed them as constitutional property right bearers but denied them a variety of government privileges. All the while, corporations have gained a far-reaching recognition for their right to speak. And while the government speech doctrine protects various municipal expressions against private dissenters, it leaves cities unarmed against silencing measures by their own states. Giving our cities Free Speech rights is not only doctrinally consistent and normatively justified; it has become necessary in order to protect the democratic vitality which our cities symbolize.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 21, 2018 | Permalink

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Green on Counterfeit Campaign Speech @WMLawSchool

Rebecca Green, William & Mary Law School, is publishing Counterfeit Campaign Speech at 70 Hastings L.J. 3 (2018). Here is the abstract.

We are entering an era in which computers can produce highly-sophisticated fakes of people doing and saying things they have in fact not done or said. In the context of political campaigns, the danger of “counterfeit campaign speech” is existential. Do current laws prohibit faked candidate speech? Can counter speech effectively neutralize it? Because it takes place in the vaulted realm of core political speech, does the First Amendment stymie any attempt to outlaw it? Many smart people who have looked at the general problem of deceit in campaigns have concluded that the state has no business policing it. But most examinations of lies in campaigns involve “real” mistruths told by or about a candidate or issue. As identified here, counterfeit campaign speech is different than an ordinary lie; the perpetrator has maliciously put false words in candidates’ mouths or made them appear to take physical actions they have not. It is a form of fraud. Scholars and courts that have examined campaign deceit acknowledge that a narrow prohibition could survive constitutional scrutiny. A ban on counterfeit campaign speech fits that bill; this Article explains how it is possible and why it is necessary.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 20, 2018 | Permalink

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Szabados on Conflicts Between Fundamental Freedoms and Fundamental Rights in the Case Law of the CJEU @eotvox_uni

Tamás Szabados, Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Private International Law and European Economic Law, is publishing Conflicts Between Fundamental Freedoms and Fundamental Rights in the Case Law of the Court of Justice of the European Union: A Comparison With the US Supreme Court Practice in volume 3 of European Papers (2018). Here is the abstract.

This Article analyses how the Court of Justice decides on conflicts between fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights in the EU. The practice of the Court will be compared with similar cases from the practice of the US Supreme Court where rights protecting economic activity and other rights come to conflict. This comparison demonstrates that the challenges faced by the Court of Justice regarding conflict of rights cases are not peculiar. The relevant case law of the Court has been the subject of criticism. The criticisms raised in relation to the way of resolving conflicts of rights by the Court of Justice could be eliminated either by the refinement of judicial argumentation of the Court or, following the example of US law, by legislation.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 14, 2018 | Permalink

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Geiger, Frosio, and Bulayenko on The EU Commission's Proposal To Reform Copyright Limitations @GCFrosio

Christophe Geiger, Giancarlo Frosio, and Oleksandr Bulayenko, all of the University of Strasbourg, CEIPI, have published The EU Commission’s Proposal to Reform Copyright Limitations: A Good but Far Too Timid Step in the Right Direction at 40 European Intellectual Property Review 4 (2018). Here is the abstract.

The European Commission’s planned copyright reform proposes to adapt EU law to the challenges emerging in the Digital Single Market (DSM). The European Commission would like to develop a—much needed—strategy to take copyright into the 21st century and make it functional to the DSM. In particular, new mandatory exceptions and limitations should contribute to improving the digital environment’s creative ecosystem. However, the goal of the proposal of lowering barriers to research and innovation in the EU DSM should be pursued more decisively by expanding the reform’s scope. This reform should be an opportunity to consider also additional exceptions and limitations, reflect on the future design of an opening clause, and achieve true harmonisation of the DSM by declaring mandatory all limitations and exceptions provided in past EU copyright instruments. Against this background, this paper would like to provide a preliminary assessment of the introduction of new exceptions and limitations for Text and Data Mining (TDM), teaching, and preservation of cultural heritage by drawing attention to selected aspects of the reform and considering room for improvement where necessary.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 13, 2018 | Permalink

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Keller on Internet Platforms: Observations on Speech, Danger, and Money @daphnehk @StanfordCIS

Daphne Keller, Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, has published Internet Platforms: Observations on Speech, Danger, and Money as Hoover Institution's Aegis Paper Series; 1807 (2018). Here is the abstract.

Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content. It discusses three ways that poorly designed laws can do damage — to First Amendment-protected online speech, national security, and the economy.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 8, 2018 | Permalink