The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Whether and when communications platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook are liable for their users’ online activities is one of the key factors that affects innovation and free speech. Most creative expression today takes place over communications networks owned by private companies. Governments around the world increasingly press intermediaries to block their users’ undesirable online content in order to suppress dissent, hate speech, privacy violations and the like. One form of pressure is to make communications intermediaries legally responsible for what their users do and say. Liability regimes that put platform companies at legal risk for users’ online activity are a form of censorship-by-proxy, and thereby imperil both free expression and innovation, even as governments seek to resolve very real policy problems.
In the United States, the core doctrines of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have allowed these online intermediary platforms user generated content to flourish. But, immunities and safe harbors for intermediaries are under threat in the U.S. and globally as governments seek to deputize intermediaries to assist in law enforcement.
To contribute to this important policy debate, CIS studies international approaches to intermediary obligations concerning users’ copyright infringement, defamation, hate speech or other vicarious liabilities, immunities, or safe harbors; publishes a repository of information on international liability regimes and works with global platforms and free expression groups to advocate for policies that will protect innovation, freedom of expression, privacy and other user rights.
Argentina is in the midst of an inflamed debate on the lawfulness of UBER services. The last stage of the UBER affair—previously visiting cities like Milan or Paris—occurred in Buenos Aires. Finally, a number of orders from different authorities led to the blockade of the UBER app. In addition, credit card services were enjoined from processing payments connected to the App. Multiple arguments served as a legal basis to the different orders, including the endangerment of passengers´ health and safety and tax collection.
Good data about Notice and Takedown can be hard to find. Jennifer Urban and Laura Quilter’s seminal 2006 study has long been the gold standard, combining rigorous number-crunching with what must have been incredibly tedious substantive review of the copyright claims in DMCA notices. Read more about DMCA Classic, DMCA Turbo: Major new empirical research on notice and takedown operations
This is the last of four posts on the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) rulings in Delfi v. Estonia and MTE v. Hungary. In both cases, national courts held online news portals liable for comments posted by their users – even though the platforms did not know about the comments. Read more about Policy Debates over EU Platform Liability Laws: New Human Rights Case Law in the Real World