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Under Fire: The Front Lines of Recent Section 230 Battles

During the past year or so, a number of court decisions have chipped away at the protection of Section 230. Recently, courts have appeared receptive to claims that fall outside the usual ambit of publishing torts, where, e.g., a duty to warn was alleged (Doe v. Internet Brands), or where an online marketplace site takes a share of an unlawful transaction (Airbnb v. San Francisco). California’s Supreme Court will soon consider whether platforms can be forced to remove content based on a third-party default judgment (Hassell v. Bird); in the lower courts, California’s prosecution of Backpage.com executives continues (State v. Ferrer); and another recent trend: social media sites are increasingly seeing suits brought under anti-terrorism statutes by terror victims who claim tech companies are responsible for extremists’ use of platforms. Our expert panel will review the current landscape of Section 230 litigation, and highlight areas of concern for the coming years.

Panelists:
Makesha Patterson, Senior Litigation Counsel, Google Inc. (Moderator)
Patrick J. Carome, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Ambika Doran, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Aaron Schur, Senior Director of Litigation, Yelp, Inc.
Brian M. Willen, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC

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Lightning Round: Roundup of Key Legal Developments

Our lightning round panel will discuss the key takeaways from new developments in topics critical to clients publishing, monetizing, and utilizing digital content, including: (1) the Lanham Act (including commercialization of online content), (2) the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (including delegation and authorization to access on behalf others), (3) copyrightability (including APIs, and also Batmobiles), and (4) intermediary liability (including Section 230 and related protections).

Panelists:   
Timothy Alger, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP (Moderator)
Jonathan H. Blavin, Partner, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP
Simon Frankel, Partner, Covington & Burling
Roger Myers, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP
Makesha Patterson, Litigation Counsel, Google Inc.

Probing the Outer Limits of Section 230

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?

Panelists:  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.