Section 512 Safe Harbor: Challenges and Opportunities in User-Generated Content

Tags: Content/IP / Technology Policy

Today’s most popular platforms – including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – are powered by copyrighted content, user-generated content, and often combinations of the two. The Section 512(c) Safe Harbor for Online Service Providers (OSPs) allows service providers who meet certain criteria to absolve themselves of liability for copyright infringement stemming from content posted by users without their knowledge. This immunity hinges on a regime known as “notice and takedown” (NTD).

In this fourth annual conference, Silicon Flatirons will bring together industry leaders, platform executives, artists, academics, and policymakers in a series of panels to consider the following inquiries:

  • What exactly does Section 512(c) say, and why?
  • What are the various concerns around NTD, and how effective is it anyway?
  • Is the primary concern still piracy, or have we moved on to concerns around the perceived “value gap” between payments made by 512(c) compliant platforms and others? And what are some other concerns outside of piracy (free speech, etc.)?

As the focus shifts from P2P to platforms, we’ll also consider the role, responsibilities, and capabilities of OSPs. We’ll start by examining how OSPs and search engines actually work. As we move toward an app-driven environment, we’ll consider the logistical limitations of NTD.

What’s next? As we look toward a cooperative future, what lessons can we take from the European Union, where tech companies and rights holders have recently reached a voluntary code of conduct? What can we take to discussion around trade policy and trade negotiations? To what extent are we comfortable with private industry setting the rules?


03/08/18 1:00pm - 1:15pm
Welcome and Introduction
  • S. James Anaya
    Dean and Charles Inglis Thomson Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Kristelia García
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Content Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
03/08/18 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Background Presentations
  • Clifford Harris — Presenter
    Senior Vice President, Legal, Programming, Product, and Regulatory, Charter Communications
03/08/18 1:45pm - 2:45pm
  • Sandra Aistars — Moderator
    Clinical Professor, Senior Scholar, Director of Copyright Research and Policy of CPIP, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Jon Berroya — Panelist
    Vice President, Legal Affairs, Entertainment Software Association
  • Jane Clark — Panelist
    Writer, Director, Producer, FilmMcQueen Productions
  • Laura Hyunjhee Kim — Panelist
    Multimedia Artist, SEICA
  • Corynne McSherry — Panelist
    Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Michael O'Leary — Panelist
    Senior Vice President, 21st Century Fox
03/08/18 2:45pm - 3:00pm

03/08/18 3:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Kristelia García — Moderator
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Content Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
  • Ally Boutelle — Panelist
    Specialist, Intellectual Property Operations, Pinterest
  • Caleb Donaldson — Panelist
    Copyright Counsel, Google
  • Geoffrey A. Manne — Panelist
    Executive Director, International Center for Law & Economics
  • Christine Searls — Panelist
    Senior Associate General Counsel, CenturyLink
03/08/18 4:00pm - 4:15pm

03/08/18 4:15pm - 5:15pm
  • Joe Waz — Moderator
    Senior Strategic Advisor, Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Cindy Abramson — Panelist
    Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office
  • David Carson — Panelist
    Senior Counsel for Copyright, Office of Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • Keith Kupferschmid — Panelist
    Chief Executive Officer, Copyright Alliance
  • Victoria Sheckler — Panelist
    Deputy General Counsel, Recording Industry Association of America
03/08/18 5:15pm - 6:15pm

Please note: Per university alcohol policy, only registered guests will be admitted to the reception.

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