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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Wednesday, May 16 • 14:30 - 15:45
Online Criticism, Falsified Court Orders & the Role of Intermediaries: Coping With Takedown Requests of Questionable Legitimacy.

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Lumen is a research project located at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, devoted to collecting and analyzing requests to remove online materials. The API-searchable database includes includes requests for removal based on different concerns ranging from copyright, privacy and trademark to “revenge porn” and defamation, submitted by individual senders or recipients, including Internet providers and hosts such as Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Wordpress, and others.

Recently, researchers and advocates including Professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law, in part through work with the Lumen database, have uncovered an alarming pattern of falsified court orders being used to seek and often achieve the removal of online material, most often reviews and criticism. If even court orders cannot presumptively be viewed as valid, what recourse is there for OSPs, and other online actors?

The Lumen team will would like to open the workshop with a brief introduction to Lumen and to the site’s API. Once the attendees are usefully familiar with Lumen, we will facilitate an open discussion about the implications of falsified court orders within the takedown request landscape, initiated by a short presentation from Profesor Volokh on his ongoing research. Relatedly, we would like to discuss the possible research opportunities Lumen’s database affords re: court orders and on other fronts; how Lumen can both facilitate such research and expand the research community using it; ways in which we might most successfully seek out other sources of notices, especially court orders, to make the database more comprehensive and useful; and finally, what improvements for the site the project might focus on in 2018. The session will be facilitated by Lumen team members, but will be centered around engaging our participants' opinions and expertise on this topic, and how Lumen can better facilitate research and advocacy concerning takedowns in light of the existence of falsified court orders.

avatar for Christopher Bavitz

Christopher Bavitz

Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
avatar for Adam Holland

Adam Holland

Project Manager, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Adam is a Project Manager at the Berkman Center, where he works primarily on the Lumen project, but also assists with a variety of other initiatives. His research interests include notice and takedown regimes, copyright law; online intermediary liability, legal regulation of AI... Read More →

avatar for Daphne Keller

Daphne Keller

Director of Intermediary Liability, Stanford Law School
Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has published both academically and in popular press; testified and participated in legislative processes... Read More →

Eugene Volokh

Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Wednesday May 16, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT