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The Little Piece of Law that Launched the Internet as We Know It
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 17, 2011 — Want to learn more about the 26 words without which there might be no Facebook; YouTube; Wikipedia; Craigslist, Google, Yelp or eBay?
A conference March 4 at Santa Clara University School of Law will explore the history, impact and future of 47 U.S.C. §230, the statute that helped lay the foundation for Web 2.0. The event is being held Friday, March 4 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Santa Clara University’s Benson Memorial Center, Mission Room.
The anticipated speakers at the conference are some of the best-known experts in Internet Law, including:
• Former Congressman and SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, who co-authored and co-sponsored the law that became Section 230.
Detailed event information can be found here: http://law.scu.edu/hightech/47-usc-230-a-15-year-retrospective.cfm
Fifteen years ago, Congress passed the Telecommunication Act of 1996, a major reform of our telecommunications industry. Tucked inside that massive law was 47 U.S.C. §230, which basically says that Internet site aren’t liable for postings by users or other third parties – even if the third-party content is libelous, even if the website receives a takedown notice, and even if the website exercises editorial control over the content. The key operative provision, 230(c)(1), is a mere 26 words.
Now, those 26 words arguably have helped launch the biggest explosion of websites, services and innovation ever seen.
“Section 230 has played a huge role in facilitating user-generated content (UGC) websites and the Web 2.0 industry. The law helps websites run their businesses without fearing enormous liability for what their users do,” said Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University School of Law’s High Tech Law Institute.
The event is being co-sponsored by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center, Stanford Law School’s Law, Science & Technology program, the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, the New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Media Law Resource Center and the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association.
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