Digital Content

Information that is published or distributed in a digital form, including text, data, sound recordings, photographs and images, motion pictures, and software.

Apple and Google crowd out the competition with default apps

The majority of apps people use on their phones in the US come preinstalled by either Apple or Google. That’s the takeaway from a Comscore study that ranked the popularity of preinstalled iOS and Android apps, such as Apple’s Messages, alongside apps made by other developers. The first-of-its-kind report was commissioned by Facebook, one of Apple’s loudest critics. The timing, as Facebook likely intentioned, is apt: Apple and Google are increasingly under scrutiny for how they favor their own services over competitors like Spotify.

Justices Gorsuch and Thomas call to revisit New York Times v. Sullivan

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch on said the Supreme Court should revisit the breadth of the landmark First Amendment decision in New York Times v. Sullivan and explore how it applies to social media and technology companies.

Federal judge blocks Florida law that would penalize social media companies

US District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect July 1, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, the judge suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional. “The plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claim that these statutes violate the First Amendment,” Judge Hinkle wrote.

The Internet Is Rotting

The internet's absence of central control, or even easy central monitoring created gaps of responsibility for maintaining valuable content that others rely on. Links work seamlessly until they don’t.

Google, Facebook Pressure Falls Short as Antitrust Measures Advance in House Committee

The House Judiciary Committee approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants, including Google and Facebook, but much of the effort faced intensive lobbying by affected firms that slowed the committee’s work and foreshadowed a pitched battle in the Senate. The centerpiece of the six-bill package, a measure to bar big tech companies from favoring their own products in a range of circumstances on their platforms, was ap

Apple Pre-Installed Apps Would Be Banned Under Antitrust Package

Apple would be prohibited from pre-installing its own apps on Apple devices under recently introduced antitrust reform legislation. Rep David Cicilline (D-RI), who is leading a push to pass new regulations for US technology companies, stated that a proposal prohibiting tech platforms from giving an advantage to their own products over those of competitors would mean Apple can’t ship devices with pre-installed apps on its iOS operating platform.

Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency on Internet Platforms

Sens John Thune (R-SD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Filter Bubble Transparency Act (S.2024). The bill would require large-scale internet platforms that collect data from more than 1 million users and gross more than $50 million per year to provide greater transparency to consumers, and allow users to view content that has not been curated as a result of a secret algorithm. 

Sen Wicker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Big Tech from Controlling Online Speech

Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard (PRO-SPEECH) Act (S.2301). This bill would establish baseline protections to prohibit Big Tech from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive practices that limit or control consumers’ speech. The PRO-SPEECH Act aims to:

Ohio Lawsuit to Declare Google a Common Carrier Not Obviously Stupid – But No Sure Deal Either.

The Ohio Attorney General asked an Ohio state court to declare Google a common carrier and/or public utility under the laws of Ohio and Ohio common law. The complaint is novel -- and not obviously stupid. But it has some real obstacles to overcome.  As Feld has written at length before, the history of common carrier regulation goes back 500 years in the common law.

Google Should Be Treated as Utility, Ohio Attorney General Argues in New Lawsuit

Ohio’s attorney general filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that Google is a public utility. Ohio said that it is the first state in the country to bring a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Google is a common carrier subject under state law to government regulation.