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This week: Companies riding the streaming wave have legal hurdles, and states are going after tech companies. Plus: Black women deans are on the rise at law schools.
The overseas expansion for streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime is now coming with a legal price.
HBOMax is joining Netflix and Amazon with major moves into Europe and Latin America: But Europe isn’t necessarily happy about it. The global platforms have made it difficult for local media companies to compete, potentially stifling Europeans from getting home-produced content and crushing longtime institutions.
Fortunately, the EU has laws for this situation: The EU requires that at least 30% of all programs on available streaming platforms be European content, according to the Wall Street Journal. Companies must also reinvest back into local programming in countries like France.
Greater transparency is another requirement: In the U.S., streamers typically don’t disclose viewer data. Europe, specifically Germany, is forcing them to share more data so workers at hit shows can receive mandated raises based on popularity.
Europe has been adding regulations for American tech companies over the last several years. Consider this to be just another round, albeit for something not nearly as serious as antitrust issues.
Section 230 reform and antitrust progress are not happening quickly at the federal level, so states are starting to regulate the internet in their own ways.
100-plus tech regulation bills have been introduced this year at state legislatures: That’s according to the New York Times. And these bills tackle anti-competitive issues and speech, among other topics. Twenty-seven of the bills regard privacy, up from just two in 2018.
They’re filling a federal void: Antitrust actions take a long time, and the partisanship of Congress hasn’t exactly been helping Section 230 reform get jump-started this year, even though Republicans and Democrats want change. Tom Wheeler, a former chair of the FCC, told the NYT, “The failure of policymakers at the national level to act has invited both state and foreign regulators to act.”
Tech companies are in a complicated situation
Thanks to a few bills that have been passed, internet life is now different in various states. Virginians for instance can request Google and Facebook not sell their personal data.
Amazon and Facebook have criticized states taking the law into their own hands. They say it will end up being complicated for internet users, too.
There are 50 states and just one Congress. Expect more of these one-off state laws to happen before the federal government makes a major move.
Some positive news in the world of legal diversity: Black women deans at law schools are on the rise.
A University of Denver professor thought she noticed a trend of more Black women rising to the highest position of law schools: She recently added them up, according to Law.com, and discovered Black women now run 28 law schools. They comprise about 14% of dean roles at ABA-accredited schools.
There’s not a great metric to measure the progress: But Law.com estimates the share of Black women deans is actually higher than Black women law professors.
The reasons for the rise
University of Hawaii Law Dean Camille Nelson is the longest-tenured Black female dean. She and others say seeing a rise in Black women in the profession has likely inspired more to climb the leadership ranks. More conferences and workshops have also been geared at women of color. It also helps that legal institutions are being more cognizant of diversity.
Nelson doesn’t want the increase in representation to stop anytime soon. “It’s the moment for this now,” she told Law.com.
💌What else we're forwarding
Epic sues another major tech company: Epic just likes to be in the courtroom, huh? As it wages a legal battle with Apple, it just filed a trademark lawsuit against an AR company called Nreal.
Big law firms set office reopening dates, and they're going to be very flexible: Some of the most tradition-bound entities in law will not return to traditional ways when they re-enter offices this year.
🎧 Music we’re working to
Today we’re listening to Zopelar, a Brazilian dance music producer. His music features playful keyboard riffs, mellow samples, and vintage drum machines. The tracks work as motivating headphone music, something he celebrated on his 2020 record Joy of Missing Out. He states this album is his most personal work, as he created it without any pressure or preconceived ideas. Enjoy!
See ya next week,