47 U.S.C. § 230: a 15 Year Retrospective

High Tech Law Institute

March 4, 2011

Time: 9:00am – 5:30pm
The Mission Room, Benson Center

Speaker Bios

 Conference Resources

Videos from the Conference

Kenneth Zeran Commentary

 View the conference flyer here

Event co-sponsors include Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center, Stanford Law School’s Law, Science & Technology program, the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, the New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Media Law Resource Center, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association and the SF Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

47 USC §230 is widely regarded as the most important Internet-specific law. This symposium will celebrate the 15 year anniversary of Congress’ enactment of Section 230. The symposium will bring together some of the key historical figures involved in the development of Section 230 to talk about how we got where we are. The symposium also will discuss some of the latest cutting-edge research about Section 230 issues. We expect this event will be the largest gathering of Section 230 practitioners and scholars to date.


 (To view a pdf version, click here)

9:00 Introduction

9:10 Historical perspectives

  • Special video conference with Senator Wyden
  • Facilitator: Jason Schultz, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley Law
  • Chris Cox, Partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP

9:50 Break

10:00 In-House Counsels’ perspectives

11:20 Break

11:30 Legislative perspectives

12:00 Lunch

  • 12:40: Kenneth Zeran, plaintiff in Zeran v. America Online (4th Cir. 1997)

1:15 Break

1:30 Litigators’ perspectives

3:00 Break

3:30 Perspectives from the Bench

4:00 Academics’ perspectives

  • Moderator: Ann Bartow, University of South Carolina, School of Law
  • David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project/Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Nancy Kim, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University (visiting)/California Western School of Law
  • Felix Wu, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

5:20 Closing Remarks and Reception

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47 USC § 230 Conference Resources

47 USC 230 (the statute): www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode47/usc_sec_47_00000230—-000-.html

47 USC 230 legislative history: http://www.cybertelecom.org/cda/confrep.htm

See also the legislative history for the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act, available at http://www.cybertelecom.org/cda/samaritanref.htm

Citizen Media Law Project’s page on 47 USC 230: www.citmedialaw.org/section-230

Cybertelecom page on 47 USC 230:   www.cybertelecom.org/cda/samaritanref.htm

David S. Ardia, Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels: An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2010, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1625820

Nancy S. Kim, Website Proprietorship and Online Harassment

Nancy S. Kim, Imposing Tort Liability on Websites for Cyber-Harassment

Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997).  caselaw.findlaw.com/us-4th-circuit/1075207.html

Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com, 521 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc). scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12982314326945878032&q=521+F.3d+1157&hl=en&as_sdt=2002

Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Service. Co., 1995 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 229, 1995 WL 323710, 23 Media L. Rep. 1794 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995) www.citmedialaw.org/threats/stratton-oakmont-v-prodigy

Cubby, Inc. v. CompuServe, Inc., 776 F.Spp. 135 (1991) http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/cubby-v-compuserve



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