Safe harbor provisions for electronic intermediary service providers represent a key common policy in worldwide internet regulation. Inspired by U.S. legal precedent, intermediary liability exemptions have been the backbone of the information society services legal framework in Europe from the outset. Two-decades of evolution has however changed the digital world considerably. Ongoing regulatory proposals (namely, under the EU Digital Single Market Strategy), the pervading presence of platforms, and the reaction of intermediaries to certain controversial issues (fake news, hate speech, copyright infringement, illegal content) have necessitated reconsideration of the current intermediary (non-)liability paradigm. Alternative models are not yet well defined. The implications of new models for digital society, the protection of rights, internet neutrality, and the preservation of trust are significant. Therefore, a debate to ponder the consequences of a paradigm shift is imperative.

Discussant: Professor Horst Eidenmüller, Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law

About the speaker: Teresa RODRÍGUEZ DE LAS HERAS BALLELL is Associate Professor of Commercial Law, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, Deputy Vice-President for International Relations and Cooperation, and currently holds the 2017 Chair of Excellence, UC3M-Santander program, in connection with which she is visiting the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College. She is an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration in the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the Spanish Court of Arbitration, and in disputes arising from conflicts of domain names. She is also a member of the UNIDROIT Study Group on a Fourth Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on matters specific to mining, agricultural and construction equipment (MAC Protocol), a member of the Aviation Working Group (AWG)’s Spanish Contact Group for work relating to the Cape Town Convention and its Aircraft Protocol for the implementation in Spain, and a member of the Rail Working Group. She is Vice-President of the International Working Group on “New Technologies, Prevention and Insurance”, Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances (AIDA), and a Fellow of the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum at Stanford Law School (2015-present). Selected visiting professorships: Professeur invitè, Universitè de Toulouse 1 Capitole, France, 2015; visiting professor, Columbia Law School, 2015/2016, James J. Coleman, Sr. Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Fall Term 2013; Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University, Faculty of Law, Trinity Term 2013; Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP) of the University of Bremen (Germany), January-March 2007.