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Content regulation

11 Nov 2015

Every new invention supporting the mass recording and dissemination of content — from cassettes to VCRs to the Internet — has fuelled concerns around copyright infringement, child pornography, hate speech and more.  Most modern regulation seeks to strike a balance between minimising such harms online without undermining the positive benefits of access to information and free speech enabled by the Internet.

In this session we’ll look at who wins, and who loses, if we adjust the balance of responsibility for content online.

Topics to include:

  • Ultimately, who should be held responsible for illegal content online?  How have different governments interpreted this across Europe, and how are laws evolving?
  • Should Internet intermediaries be expected to do more to prevent access to legal but potentially harmful materials like suicide sites and pornography?
  • To what extent is it reasonable to ask internet intermediaries to function as “private sheriffs” patrolling content on their platform?  Could this lead to over-blocking and unaccountable (and undemocratic) censorship?
  • Does the nature of rights-holding need to evolve to reflect today’s increasingly cross-border world?  What are the pros and cons of actions such as geoblocking?