“Trends in Internet Law” Talk Slides

By Eric Goldman

A couple weeks ago, I spoke at the California State Bar IP Section’s IP Institute on the nominal topic of Hot Topics in Internet and Technology Law. I don’t normally do “hot topics” CLE presentations, and as a result, I decided to experiment with the format. Ultimately, I decided I wanted to talk about some broad trends I’m seeing in Internet Law. Like a typical hot topics presentation, I spent plenty of time talking about recent cases and statutes, but I tried to bucket them into broader themes. My talk slides.

I did learn that it’s a lot easier to discuss 8 cases than it is to discuss 8 trends. It turned out that I basically prepared 8 mini-talks instead of just one lecture, so my reimagination of the topic meant I did a lot more work than I expected. I don’t anticipate doing another “hot topics” presentation any time soon!

The eight trends I discussed (I ran out of time to discuss the last trend, unfortunately):

* keyword advertising (one of the main topics I blog about). As you can see, I asked the provocative Q: “Are Keyword Ad Battles Winding Down?” Putting aside the ridiculous number of parties who jumped on Rosetta Stone’s bandwagon, my broad assessment is that we’re close to the finish line, and that TM owners will soon acquiesce to search engine keyword advertising and move onto to freakouts about newer technologies.

* 47 USC 230 (another main topic of the blog). This gave me another chance to plug our upcoming 15 year retrospective of 47 USC 230 on March 4.

* State AGS (enemy #1 of Internet companies)

* Internet plaintiffs’ bar (enemy #2 of Internet companies). See the latest are-you-kidding-me? lawsuit: Dunbar v. Google, a class action alleging that Google violates the ECPA by triggering ads off Gmail emails–an issue that was THOROUGHLY angst-ed in 2004.

* Online authenticity. I predict we will see a variety of additional legal moves designed to prop up online authenticity using regulatory tools.

* Scraping

* First Sale and Exhaustion. I’ll write a separate blog post recapping our excellent event last week.

* Are Newspapers the Next Big IP Litigants?