Upcoming Events

FAIA: Aynne Kokas

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 12:00pm

At the Crossroads between Cybersecurity and Trade Policy:  Sino-US Digital Entertainment Collaborations

In a January 1, 2014 article, the People’s Daily newspaper published a recommendation by President Xi Jinping entitled “Increase Soft Power, Realize the China Dream” (tigao ruanshili, shixian zhongguo meng) which encouraged efforts to “strengthen construction of international broadcasting capacity, meticulously construct external discourse, exhibit up-and-coming media activity, increase the creativity, inspiration, and accountability of external discourse, tell proper Chinese stories, broadcast proper Chinese songs, and explain proper Chinese characteristics (my translation).” In order to protect the growth of Chinese digital distribution markets, digital distribution services like YouTube blocked within the Chinese market, offering local players like Youku, LeTV, and iQiyi space to grow their domestic business and expand globally. Following the 2014 Sony hack, there has been a renewed focus on the potential for cybersecurity attacks on US entertainment companies by foreign entities. Yet little attention has been paid to the implications of the growth online video platforms with close ties to governments that have been accused of cybersecurity attacks within the US. Chinese digital video providers have been rapidly growing within the Chinese market with both the support of domestic regulators and of US capital markets who have bankrolled the expansion of these platforms (Kokas, 2014). Advancing China’s soft power goals, the global expansion of Chinese digital distribution platforms both increases the trade imbalance and cybersecurity risks for US users. This paper will expand on Gillespie “politics of platforms” (2010) by exploring the intersection of cybersecurity and trade imbalance spurred by the global expansion of China’s digital entertainment portals.

Right of Publicity Closed Workshop

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 9:15am

The following topics will be addressed: Current state of right of publicity law; Introduction to the current relationship of right of publicity to copyright, trademark and privacy principles; First Amendment theories relevant to thinking about right of publicity; The nature of the “right”; How is the “right” to be reconciled with the First Amendment?; Relationship to Copyright law; Relationship to Trademark law; Practical issues 

Speakers include: Floyd Abrams, Rebecca Tushnet, Jennifer Rothman, Mark Lemley, Jack M. Balkin, Bruce Keller, Stacey Dogan, Lee Levine

FAIA: Gerson Zweifach

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 3:00pm

Leak and Hacks

News Corp said Thursday that Gerson Zweifach will step down as general counsel, after helping to steer the company through the fallout over a British phone-hacking scandal and its 2013 split with 21st Century Fox Inc.

News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, had retained Mr. Zweifach on a transitional basis after the split with 21st Century Fox in June 2013. He will remain 21st Century Fox’s group general counsel and compliance chief.

ISP Big Data Speaker Series: Fenwick McKelvey

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 12:00pm

Media Daemons: The Algorithms Controlling Internet Routing

“If you were expecting some kind of warning when computers finally get smarter than us,” warns BBC reporter Jane Wakefield (2011), “then think again” because algorithms “increasingly control how we interact with our electronic world” (np.). Algorithms run invisibly in our media (Diakopoulos, 2013; Pasquale, 2015; Slavin, 2011; Steiner, 2012). They identify trends in social media. In search engines, they rank results. Most importantly, algorithms route information across the Internet. My presentation analyzes the powerful influence of algorithms through the case of Internet routing. It animates this technical subject through the metaphor of daemons. Since the genesis of the Internet, daemons – the nickname for software used by early computer scientists – have possessed the routers, switches and backbones of its infrastructure. Distributed throughout the Internet’s infrastructure, media daemons have an active, autonomous and sometimes mischievous control over Internet routing. Their control has been increasing, growing more intelligent and active thanks to more powerful computers in the Internet’s infrastructure. Where advanced Internet routing algorithms have often been described as a matter of Network Neutrality of the Internet or data discrimination, my presentation discusses the power of discrimination as well as promotion during transmission. Algorithms manipulate the ability of networks to be in communication by introducing lag, unreliability or conversely, acceleration or promotion. The presentation reveals this subtle influence of algorithms on communication that will influence the future of the Internet culture and society. 

Knight Law and Abrams: Catherine Ross

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:00pm

Lessons in Liberty: how schools and courts diminish democracy

American public schools often censor controversial student speech that the Constitution protects. Lessons in Censorship brings clarity to a bewildering array of court rulings that define the speech rights of young citizens in the school setting. Catherine J. Ross examines disputes that have erupted in our schools and courts over the civil rights movement, war and peace, rights for LGBTs, abortion, immigration, evangelical proselytizing, and the Confederate flag. She argues that the failure of schools to respect civil liberties betrays their educational mission and threatens democracy.

From the 1940s through the Warren years, the Supreme Court celebrated free expression and emphasized the role of schools in cultivating liberty. But the Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts courts retreated from that vision, curtailing certain categories of student speech in the name of order and authority. Drawing on hundreds of lower court decisions, Ross shows how some judges either misunderstand the law or decline to rein in censorship that is clearly unconstitutional, and she powerfully demonstrates the continuing vitality of the Supreme Court’s initial affirmation of students’ expressive rights. Placing these battles in their social and historical context, Ross introduces us to the young protesters, journalists, and artists at the center of these stories.

Lessons in Censorship highlights the troubling and growing tendency of schools to clamp down on off-campus speech such as texting and sexting and reveals how well-intentioned measures to counter verbal bullying and hate speech may impinge on free speech. Throughout, Ross proposes ways to protect free expression without disrupting education.


FAIA: James Baker

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 12:00pm

Going Dark: Encryption's Challenges and Implications
Technological advances in encryption have eroded law enforcement's ability to obtain electronic information and evidence even under a lawful court order. FBI General Counsel Jim Baker will discuss the challenges presented by encryption in balancing privacy and public safety.

ISP Law & Technology Speaker Series: Rebecca Tushnet

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Creating a Public Interest Trademark Bar

ABSTRACT: In the first decade of the twentieth century, a public interest copyright and patent bar developed; public interest organizations now routinely take an interest in copyright and patent issues bearing on public rights, from patents on breast cancer detection to copyright term extension, and they are active in courts, before Congress, and before administrative agencies dealing with IP.  A public interest bar with similar attention to trademark law and policy has yet to develop, but it’s time.  Professor Tushnet will discuss recent amicus work and related efforts to speak for the public interest in trademark matters. 

ISP Law & Technology Speaker Series: Cindy Cohn

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

The Fourth Amendment and the NSA’s Access to the Internet Backbone

ABSTRACT: One of the bombshell revelations from the Snowden files has been confirmation of the NSA’s access to the Internet backbone. What we know is that, with the assistance of telecommunications providers like AT&T, the government set up processes  to make copies of everything that passes by key Internet junctures for further review and analysis. It then searches the full text content of much of that traffic. This mass surveillance infrastructure was first revealed by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein in 2006, but has been largely confirmed, through publicly-released Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Opinions, a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board report..  The level of detail was also greatly expanded by a New York Times/Pro Publica front page story on August 15, 2015. This  mass surveillance infrastructure appears designed to ensure that the US government will always have the option to access anything we do or say over the Internet. Actual privacy of our communications is lost; replaced with, at most, a hope that our communications would never be flagged by secret government filters. 

FAIA: Eric Freedman

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 12:00pm

Suppressing Cyber-dissent and the Limits of Human Rights Activism

New communications technologies provide tools for almost anyone to become a publisher or broadcaster to disseminate news, information and opinion – even politically dangerous news , information  and opinion. Those technologies also provide tools for authoritarian regimes to identify and punish cyber-dissenters. Experiences in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere demonstrate the limited impact of efforts by human rights and free expression NGOs to protest or reverse regime measures to silence cyber-critics, raising serious questions about how to increase their effectiveness.   

Law & Technology Speaker Series: Vern Norviel

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Secure your Startup: How to Acquire and Protect IP

ABSTRACT: In the early stages of a life sciences company, the lawyer plays an important role.  This talk will outline the lawyer’s role, including the process for getting intellectual property into the company from a university, early issues that arise in company formation, interactions with the venture capital community, and some of the current legal issues that arise in the area of intellectual property for a young startup.  These IP issues include questions around the ability to obtain diagnostic patents, and patents for natural products.


Poynter: Joan Biskupic

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 12:00pm

Joan Biskupic, an editor-in-charge for Legal Affairs at Reuters News, has covered the Supreme Court for more than twenty years and is the author of several books on the judiciary. Her most recent book, Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2014. Her earlier works include American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (2009); and Sandra Day O’Connor (2005).