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Online Platforms 2017: Hot Topics in Liability & Social Responsibility


Speaker(s): Aaron Perzanowski, Andrew P. Bridges, Brittan Heller, Catherine R. Gellis, Daphne Keller, Douglas Kramer, Eileen Donahoe, Graham Smith, Justin Olsson, Laura H. Covington, Laurent Crenshaw, Stephen LaPorte, Tyler G. Newby
Recorded on: Oct. 30, 2017
PLI Program #: 180878

Aaron Perzanowski teaches courses in intellectual property, telecommunications and innovation. Previously, he taught at Wayne State University Law School, as a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Information, and as a visitor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. Prior to his teaching career, he served as the Microsoft Research Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and practiced law at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley.

His research addresses topics ranging from digital copyright to deceptive advertising to creative norms within the tattoo industry. With Jason Schultz, he is the author of The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (MIT Press 2016), which argues for retaining consumer property rights in a marketplace that increasingly threatens them. His book with Kate Darling, Creativity Without Law: Challenging the Assumptions of Intellectual Property (NYU Press 2017), explores the ways communities of creators operate outside of formal intellectual property law.


Andrew Bridges represents innovators and their companies on important matters 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 (Amazon.com)(challenge 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 dajaz1.com 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.


Cathy Gellis is a lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area with a practice focused on intellectual property, free speech, intermediary liability, privacy, and other innovation policy matters affecting technology use and development. She regularly writes, speaks, counsels, and litigates on these and other related topics, particularly with respect to how these issues relate to Internet platforms. Examples of her work include defending the free speech rights of anonymous bloggers, representing an organization of college webcasters before the Copyright Royalty Board, and authoring numerous amicus briefs, including in litigation regarding the scope of CDA Section 230 and cases challenging NSA Internet surveillance. Her writing on the policy implications of technology regulation has appeared in various widely-read publications, including the Daily Beast, Law.com, and the technology news site Techdirt.com, where she is a regular contributor. Prior to becoming a lawyer she was an aspiring journalist-turned-Internet professional who developed and managed websites for enterprises in Silicon Valley and Europe. She has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Mass Communications and Sociology, where she studied information technology and user adoption trends, and a J.D. from Boston University.


Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has published both academically and in popular press; testified and participated in legislative processes; and taught and lectured extensively. 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 2015 Daphne was Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. She worked on groundbreaking Intermediary Liability litigation and legislation around the world and counseled both overall product development and individual content takedown decisions.


Doug Kramer is General Counsel of Cloudflare, where he is responsible for managing the legal, policy, and trust and safety teams. In this role, Doug helps address the broad range of issues that touch the company's operations around the world. Prior to joining Cloudflare, Doug worked for seven years in senior positions in the Obama Administration, including as Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Staff Secretary, as the Deputy Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, and General Counsel at USAID. He previously worked in private practice in Washington, DC and Kansas City. 

He received Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and English from Georgetown University and his J.D. from University of Chicago Law School. 

Cloudflare, Inc. (www.cloudflare.com / @cloudflare) is on a mission to help build a better Internet. Trusted by over 20 million Internet properties, Cloudflare is one of the world's largest cloud network platforms. Cloudflare’s network sees more than 1 billion unique IP addresses each day protecting and accelerating any Internet application online without adding hardware, installing software, or changing a line of code. Internet properties powered by Cloudflare have all traffic routed through its intelligent global network, which gets smarter with each new site added. As a result, they see significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks. Cloudflare was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer, named the Most Innovative Network & Internet Technology Company for two years running by the Wall Street Journal, and ranked among the world's 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Cloudflare has offices in Austin, TX, Champaign, IL, Boston, MA, Washington, DC, London, and Singapore.


Eileen Donahoe is Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. Eileen served as the first US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva during the Obama Administration. She also served as Director of Global Affairs at Human Rights Watch where she represented the organization worldwide on human rights foreign policy.

Eileen is a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation; a member of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Human Rights; the University of Essex Advisory Board on Human Rights, Big Data and Technology; the Benetech Advisory Board. She is an Affiliate at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University.  Previously, she was a technology litigator at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley.

She holds a BA from Dartmouth, an M.T.S. from Harvard, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an MA in East Asian Studies from Stanford, and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from GTU at UC Berkeley.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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 forthcoming). 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 is 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.


Justin Olsson is Databricks' second lawyer (Associate General Counsel) and is based out of its San Francisco, California headquarters.  His work for Databricks focuses on a mix of product and privacy counseling and commercial negotiation.  Prior to joining Databricks, Mr. Olsson was Product Counsel at AVG Technologies and an associate at Goodwin Procter where he worked on a range of issues for technology companies, including intellectual property licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and general start-up law.  Mr. Olsson graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010 and with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2007.


Laurent Crenshaw is the Director of Public Policy for Yelp. While at Yelp he has championed technology and fair competition issues. Additionally, he has spearheaded the company's efforts to protect consumer freedom of speech online, successfully advocating for passage of legislation at the federal and state levels.

Prior to joining Yelp in 2013, Laurent worked in the House of Representatives for over 11 years. During his tenure he served as the Legislative Director for Representative Darrell Issa focusing on technology policy issues, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, telecommunications and internet law. He also worked in the offices of the House Majority Whip and House Republican Conference.

Laurent also serves on the board of directors for Public Knowledge, the OpenGov Foundation and as a member of the American Library Association's Public Policy Advisory Council. He received his undergraduate degree at Stanford University and his juris doctor from American University.


Tyler G. Newby is a partner in the Litigation Group at Fenwick & West LLP, 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.  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.


Laura Covington has over two decades' experience as a leader and expert on cutting-edge legal, public policy and regulatory issues facing technology and media companies. She was the first intellectual property lawyer at Yahoo.  In addition to building the company’s IP team, she also served in public policy and government relations, and most recently was General Counsel for Yahoo EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa).  Her expertise spans all of IP, with particular emphasis on trademark, copyright, and patent litigation and reform, as well as online content regulation, advertising, intermediary liability, ICANN, internet governance,  and international trade. Laura has also managed complex privacy, data protection and cybersecurity issues, especially in Europe.


Stephen is Legal Director at the Wikimedia Foundation, where he advises on governance, fundraising, copyright, and other internet law and policy topics. Stephen is co-creator of CollabMark, a trademark guide for open source software. He is also an active contributor to open source software projects, including a series of interactive visualizations on Wikipedia. Stephen’s main areas of interest are open source licensing and online platforms. Stephen graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.