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Online Platforms and Popular Technologies 2020: Legal and Regulatory Responses to Technology Challenges

Speaker(s): Ambassador Karen Kornbluh (Ret.), Amie Stepanovich, Andrew P. Bridges, Brittan Heller, Corynne McSherry, Daphne Keller, Doug Hudson, Erin Simon, Graham Smith, Jordan Gimbel, Prof. Jack I. Lerner, Remy Chavannes, Susan Ness, Tara Taubman-Bassirian, Tony Sebro, Tyler G. Newby
Recorded on: Oct. 26, 2020
PLI Program #: 277959

Ambassador Kornbluh has shaped public policy since the early days of the commercial Internet as a public servant and diplomat in the U.S. and internationally. The New York Times called her a passionate and effective advocate for economic equality.

Today, she continues that work in two key roles: At the German Marshall Fund of the United States, leading its Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative to ensure technology supports democracies around the globe; and as chair of the Open Technology Fund, a government-funded nonprofit advancing global Internet freedom.

She was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris during the Obama Administration. There she spearheaded the first global Internet Policymaking Principles, gained OECD agreement to provide open access to its data, and launched the OECD Gender Initiative.

She served in the Clinton administration as both deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department and director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission, negotiating early Internet policies. She was policy director for then-Senator Barack Obama, and the author of his 2008 platform.

Kornbluh began her career as an economic forecaster at Townsend-Greenspan and worked in the private sector at various points in her career, including as a senior advisor to McKinsey and executive vice president at the global data firm Nielsen where she launched the Nielsen Foundation.

Kornbluh has held a number of fellowships, including at the Council on Foreign Relations where she was the senior fellow for Digital Policy, Mozilla, the Center for American Progress, and New America. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Andrew Bridges defends innovators and their companies in important battles typically involving new technologies or business models, often when a company’s or an entire industry’s future is at stake.  His practice includes complex litigation, high-stakes counseling, and policy advice in Internet, copyright, trademark, advertising, unfair competition, consumer protection, trade secret, and commercial law matters.

Among his major litigation successes are:

  • Defending Diamond Multimedia in RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia (challenge to MP3 players)
  • Defending Google in Perfect 10 v. Google ( to search engine)
  • Defending MasterCard in Perfect 10 v. VISA and MasterCard (challenge to payment processing for alleged infringers)
  • Defending ClearPlay in Huntsman v. Soderbergh (challenge to DVD replay filtering software)
  • Enforcing Bare Escentuals’ rights against Intelligent Beauty (trademark and false advertising)
  • Representing Richard O’Dwyer (UK university student) in avoiding extradition from UK and prosecution in US for operating linking site
  • Representing owner of in recovering domain after seizure by Homeland Security in Operation In Our Sites
  • Defending Fitbit in Fitbug v. Fitbit (challenge to company name and brand)
  • Defending Giganews in Perfect 10 v. Giganews (challenge to Usenet service provider; obtained award of $6.5 million in attorneys’ fees for prevailing defendants)
  • Defending SoundCloud in Average Joe’s Ent’t v. SoundCloud (claims against sound recording platform by music label and publisher)
He received the California State Bar Intellectual Property Section Vanguard Award (private practice category) 2014, and National Law Journal honored him as an IP Trailblazer in 2017.  He received his law degree from Harvard; an M.A and B.A. from University of Oxford (Merton College) in philosophy and ancient history; and a B.A. from Stanford in Greek and Latin.

Brittan Heller has structured her practice at Foley Hoag around the areas of law, technology and human rights. She specializes in advising companies on privacy, freedom of expression, content moderation, online harassment, disinformation, civic engagement, cyberhate and hate speech, and online extremism.

As the founding director of the Center on Technology and Society for the Anti-Defamation League, Brittan proposed new policies and implemented programs to prevent bias, racism, discrimination, and the spread of disinformation, with a focus on protecting minority populations. She also collaborated with major online platforms and gaming companies to combat cyberhate, and produced and launched new technology for good, in mediums like AI, VR/AR/XR and data visualization.

Brittan previously worked for the International Criminal Court on its first cases and the U.S. Department of Justice - Criminal Division, prosecuting grave human rights violations for the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section. Brittan prosecuted genocide and war crimes, and managed multinational investigations of human trafficking, smuggling, immigration fraud and transnational violent crime.

Brittan is frequently featured in or quoted by numerous national and international media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News, CNN, NPR, Jezebel, TechCrunch, CNET, Fast Company, Mic, WIRED, and Inside Philanthropy. 

Corynne McSherry is the Legal Director at EFF, specializing in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues. Her favorite cases involve defending online fair use, political expression, and the public domain against the assault of copyright maximalists. As a litigator, she has represented Professor Lawrence Lessig, Public.Resource.Org, the Yes Men, and a dancing baby, among others, and one of her first cases at EFF was In re Sony BMG CD Technologies Litigation (aka the "rootkit" case). In 2015 she was named one of California's Top Entertainment Lawyers.  She was also named AmLaw's "Litigator of the Week" for her work on Lenz v. Universal. Her policy work includes leading EFF’s effort to fix copyright (including the successful effort to shut down the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA), promote net neutrality, and promote best practices for online expression. In 2014, she testified before Congress about problems with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Corynne comments regularly on digital rights issues and has been quoted in a variety of outlets, including NPR, CBS News, Fox News, the New York Times, Billboard, the Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone. Prior to joining EFF, Corynne was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP. Corynne has a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Ph.D from the University of California at San Diego, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. While in law school, Corynne published Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property (Harvard University Press, 2001).

Daphne Keller's work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has testified before legislatures, courts, and regulatory bodies around the world, and published both academically and in popular press on topics including platform content moderation practices, constitutional and human rights law, copyright, data protection, and national courts' global takedown orders. Her recent work focuses on legal protections for users’ free expression rights when state and private power intersect, particularly through platforms’ enforcement of Terms of Service or use of algorithmic ranking and recommendations. Until 2020, Daphne was the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. She also served until 2015 as Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. Daphne has taught Internet law at Stanford, Berkeley, and Duke law schools. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, Brown University, and Head Start.

Doug Hudson is Assistant General Counsel & Senior Director at Etsy, where he manages litigation, IP and privacy matters for Etsy's worldwide marketplace.  He previously served as Senior Product Counsel at Twitter, and Senior Patent Counsel at Google from 2007-2015. 

Erin is the product counsel for News at Google, along with Books, Civic Information, and more.  Since joining the company, she has counseled nearly every aspect of the world's favorite search engine.  She works on cutting-edge legal questions around the world, with an emphasis on copyright, platform regulations, and disinformation.  Before Google, Erin litigated intellectual property cases at Fenwick & West LLP.  She received her JD from NYU School of Law and her BA also from NYU, with a break in between to work as a web designer and illustrator.  When she's not explaining HTML to a government official or 17 U.S.C. § 107 to an engineer, Erin likes to travel, take pictures, and order takeout.

Graham Smith is Of Counsel at Bird & Bird LLP, based in London, UK. He is one of the UK’s leading cyberlaw experts, with a practice encompassing advisory and contentious work in the internet, IT and intellectual property fields. He has handled a variety of disputes in the IT sector, ranging from IT project litigation to software copyright disputes.

He has advised all kinds of internet actors on topics including copyright, intermediary liability and cross-border issues. His internet work includes lawful access to communications, data retention and related privacy issues. His submissions and evidence on the Investigatory Powers Bill were quoted in A Question of Trust, in the Joint Parliamentary Committee Report on the draft Bill, in the Commons Science and Technology Report on the draft Bill, in the Bulk Powers Review and in House of Lords debates on the Bill.

He edits and co-authors the textbook Internet Law and Regulation (Sweet & Maxwell, 5th edition 2020). His section of the Encyclopedia of Information Technology Law (Sweet & Maxwell) addresses non-contractual liability in the IT field, including negligence liability of suppliers and consultants. He contributed a chapter 'Cyberborders and the Right to Travel in Cyberspace' to the book 'The Net and the Nation State' (CUP 2017, ed U. Kohl).  He was a member of a Law Commission Advisory Panel for its project on Electronic Execution of Documents.

His Cyberleagle blog is a respected source of analysis on IT and internet law topics. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Information Law & Policy Centre and a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Law and Information Technology. He is rated by Chambers UK Directory as a Senior Statesperson for Information Technology.

Jack Lerner works to find solutions to problems at the intersection of law and technology, particularly how technology law and policy affect creative expression and innovation.  He has written and spoken widely on copyright, privacy and other areas of technology law.  Professor Lerner is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and Director of the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic.  In the Clinic, law students counsel and represent policymakers, artists, innovators, nonprofit organizations, and others on a range of IP and technology issues.  Among other accomplishments, under Professor Lerner's supervision students have obtained exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on behalf of a wide coalition of documentary filmmakers that is helping filmmakers exercise their fair use rights, and worked with policymakers in the developing world to conduct a major study of copyright limitations and exceptions among Pacific Rim economies. In 2016, Professor Lerner was named “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year” for his work obtaining changing copyright law in ways that affect documentary filmmakers and authors nationwide.

Before joining UC Irvine School of Law in 2014, Professor Lerner was Clinical Professor of Law at the USC Gould School of Law and Director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic, and he was a Clinic Fellow at the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

Since 2008, Professor Lerner has been Executive Editor of the award-winning treatise Internet Law and Practice in California (CEB). Among Professor Lerner's recent publications are Secondary Copyright Infringement Liability and User-Generated Content in the United States, in Oxford Handbook of Online Intermediary Liability (Giancarlo Frosio ed., 2020) and Law Enforcement Investigations Involving Journalists, in National Security Leaks, Whistleblowers, and the Media (Paul Rosenzweig et al, eds.) (with Bar-Nissim). See more of Professor Lerner's publications at his UC Irvine profile.

Professor Lerner received a B.A., with distinction, in English from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He clerked for Judge Fred I. Parker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge G. Thomas Van Bebber in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. He practiced IP law with the Palo Alto, Calif., firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Jordan Gimbel is Deputy General Counsel at Twitch.

Remy Chavannes is a partner at the technology and communications law firm Brinkhof in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), where he specializes in copyright, digital media, and internet litigation. He represents online platforms, broadcasters, publishers, and artists, in cases at the intersection of copyright, freedom of expression, and privacy.

Remy’s work in the area of internet law focuses on litigation on issues such as the “right to be forgotten”, intermediary liability, hyperlinks, and website blocking. He has argued copyright cases before the highest EU and national courts, including the recent GS Media case about copyright liability for hyperlinking to infringing online source material. He also advises providers of media and communications services about their obligations to remove and provide information in the context of civil enforcement, criminal investigations, and national security.

Remy acts for commercial broadcasters, publishers, carriers and platforms in cases relating to audiovisual media services regulation, collective and individual copyright, music royalties, programme distribution, online enforcement, and freedom of information. He represents a leading national newspaper in defamation and privacy cases, and acted for soccer legend Johan Cruyff in Supreme Court litigation about privacy and commercial image rights.

Chambers & Partners writes: Clients praise Remy Chavannes’ ‘great presentation skills in court, articulate manner and out-of-the-box thinking’; a practical problem solver with a strong sense of Dutch law and international business goals,” say clients. “He is recognised as one of the leading figures in the media and telecoms fields, and is noted for his strength in litigation.”

Remy is a member of the AIPPI Programme Committee and Standing Committee on Copyright, and a regular author and speaker on developments in European copyright, media, and intermediary liability law.

Remy studied Modern History (Balliol College, Oxford, 1997) and Law (Leiden University, 2000). He was admitted to the Bar in 2000 and has been a partner at Brinkhof since 2007.

Susan Ness is a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and founder of Susan Ness Strategies, a communications policy consulting firm. She is a distinguished fellow at both the Annenberg Public Policy Center, where she founded and co-chaired the Transatlantic High-Level Working Group on Content Moderation and Freedom of Expression (TWG), and at German Marshall Fund, where she works on transatlantic digital policy issues. Previously, she was a senior fellow at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University.

Commissioner Ness served on the Federal Communications Commission from 1994 to 2001, playing a leading role on spectrum policy, competition and new technologies, and often represented the FCC at international meetings and conferences. After completing her FCC service, she taught international and domestic communications policy at the Annenberg School for Communication (University of Pennsylvania), and was founder and CEO of a company that syndicated talk radio programming for women.   

Ms Ness serves on the board of TEGNA Inc (NYSE-TGNA) a broadcast and multi-platform media company, and chairs its Public Policy and Regulation Committee. She is a member of the board of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an organization that invests in women’s leadership worldwide.  She serves on the steering committee of the World Economic Forum Project on Advancing Global Digital Content Safety, and is an affiliated expert with the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. She was vice chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board from 2011-2013.

She earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, cum laude, and a B.A. from Douglass College (Rutgers University). She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Federal Communications Bar Association, and Women Corporate Directors.

Tara Taubman-Bassirian, LLM, is a French Lawyer based in the UK who has studied private law at the prestigious Paris University Pantheon Assas, before specialising on Computer and Communication Law at Queen Mary University of London. She has completed for IP Law knowledge with a Harvard University course. She has expertise in areas of privacy, data protection, intellectual property, eCommerce and eReputation. She has made a name for herself in several areas of the world, most notably the UK, France and the US. Languages she practices have helped her to widen her horizon and reach. An early adopter of emerging technologies, Tara makes it her business to understand the challenges presented by regulations in this high connectivity era, which is how she has become a trusted adviser to individuals & businesses navigating legal pathways to justice on the internet. Tara is very active in raising awareness of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) & advising businesses on the compliance requirements. Tara is a member of ICANN's NCUC. Tara is involved with The Raymond Nicolet Trust supporting education in Serbia.

Tony Sebro is the Deputy General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia and its related projects. A seasoned professional, Tony helps manage the day-to-day operations of the Foundation's legal department and provides specific expertise relating to technology, intellectual property, open source licensing, business operations, privacy, and strategy.

Tony joined the Foundation after serving as General Counsel for Software Freedom Conservancy — a public charity that acts as the home for more than 40 free and open source software projects, including Git, Selenium and Samba. Prior to joining Software Freedom Conservancy, he spent time in the private sector with PCT Law Group and Kenyon & Kenyon and as an intellectual property licensing and business development professional with IBM.

Tony earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an MBA from the University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business; and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. In 2017, Tony received an O’Reilly Open Source Award for leadership and outstanding contribution to open source.

Tony is a registered in-house counsel with the California state bar, a member of the New York bar, and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Tony is also on the project leadership committee for Outreachy, an initiative that provides paid remote internships for people interested in contributing to open source communities. People from groups underrepresented in tech are especially encouraged to apply. Tony is an active participant in and supporter of the non-profit community, and has served on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations.

Tyler G. Newby is a partner in the Litigation Group at Fenwick & West LLP, where he chairs the firm’s IP and Commercial Litigation group and co-chairs the firm’s Privacy and Data Security practice.  His practice focuses on privacy and data security litigation, federal and state regulatory investigations and counseling for high technology clients ranging from early-stage startups to mature public companies. 

Prior to rejoining Fenwick & West in 2011, Mr. Newby was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where he was a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Cyber Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  The California Daily Journal named Mr. Newby a Top Cyber Attorney for 2019.  In 2014, Mr. Newby was named among the top attorneys in the United States under the age of 40 by Law360.

Mr. Newby graduated from Stanford Law School in 1999, where he was a Notes Editor of the Stanford Law Review.

Amie Stepanovich is the Executive Director at Silicon Flatirons. She is a nationally recognized expert in domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy law.

Stepanovich previously served as U.S. Policy Manager and Global Policy Counsel at Access Now in Washington, D.C., where she worked to protect human rights through law and policy involving technologies and their use. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, where she testified in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and before the German and Australian Parliaments.

She serves as a board member to the Internet Education Foundation and as an advisory board member to the Future of Privacy Forum. In 2014, Stepanovich was named in Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 Leaders in Law and Policy.