Hi everybody - Just a quick, solo episode this week, and then we’re Audi 5,000 to get some rest and relaxation, spending time with friends and family for the holidays, etc. It has been such a crazy year, hasn’t it? But I...
Hi everybody -
Just a quick, solo episode this week, and then we’re Audi 5,000 to get some rest and relaxation, spending time with friends and family for the holidays, etc.
It has been such a crazy year, hasn’t it? But I feel like we say that every year –
In any case …
I’ve put together some predictions for you, for whatever they’re worth –
First off, SBF - Sam Bankman Fried, the former billionaire and founder of the now bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX – gets convicted. I don’t see him getting out of this one. I still remember Enron – actually as a young lawyer I worked on that fiasco in New York – it was a meas. And I think we’re going to see a lot of others pulled into this.
Every few years, someone has to be the case study for financial regulation – 5 years after Enron we had the global financial crisis and now it’s SBF’s turn.
Next– I see children’s online privacy and safety legislation finally succeeding and signed into law – we’ll have the minimum age for marketing to children raised to 16. We may even see a federal standard for what schools do with kids’ data and what they’re going to have to do to monitor compliance from companies providing services in the classroom.
Third – I think we’ll see some impetus start to grow for copyright reform. We’re coming up on 25 years since the Digital Millennium Colyright took effect, and I think AI-generated content is going to call for some new protocols, and at least a bit more chatter about DMCA. I don’t predict comprehensive copyright reform – such as a rewriting of the entire Copyright Act – but I do see a call for an update. It’s too early to tell how Open AI is going to change content – but that’s where creativity comes into play. So we won’t know where those pressure points are until we see what kinds of things people and companies end up creating with it.
Fourth, as far as Section 230 is concerned, the Supreme Court is considering 2 cases from the 9th Circuit expected to have widespread implications for the extent to which internet platforms should be held liable for harms caused by content posted by third party users.
In the first – Gonzalez v. Google – the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the petitioners – the Gonzalez family – holding that when Google recommended terror-related videos to would-be terrorists who participated in the Paris terror attacks 2015 – I see the Court ruling that by recommending content, Google went beyond the protections afforded by Section 230, stepping into the role of content creator. It will be interesting to see how far back into the common law the Court’s conservative majority ventures this time – because in Dobbs it went way back to the 14th century. So maybe we’ll go back to Athens or Sumer or something.
As for the Twitter case, I see a positive outcome for Twitter … In that case, a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed a Jordanian citizen, and the family in that case says Twitter aided and abetted the attack by hosting terrorist-related content. I see the Court ruling that Twitter can enjoy Section 230 protection in that case, since it didn’t recommend content.
And, finally, antitrust. I think with a conservative House, it’s going to be very difficult to get a bill passed but we’ve seen glimmers of bipartisanship in the context of children’s online safety. But as far as competition legislation in general, I don’t see it. Because the same competition policy would have to apply to all industries, I think, not just tech, and I just don’t envision lawmakers wanting to end up on the wrong side of things as they take contributions from corporations heading into the 2024 presidential election season.
So that’s what I’ve got for you today as we head into the holidays. Short and sweet.
We’ll have new episodes for you in 2023. But until then, I’ll be getting some r&r, and I encourage you to do the same after a year of completely random developments. Enjoy!