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Legal Hacking to Solve Tech Policy Problems

Companies rapidly innovate to develop new technologies and business models, yet often the law lags behind, creating significant problems for both companies and users. However, the tech industry is not helpless in the face of these structural obstacles – we can "hack" the legal system to create workarounds so that our industry is not dependent on the legal or political system to solve these problems.

Some of these system failures include:
-a privacy framework that often denies consumers clear information and fair choice
-a patent system that enables patent trolls to extort promising start-ups
-a copyright approach that allows rights holders to bully content creators
-terms of services that strip users of their rights

This panel of legal and policy experts will review the innovative approach of legal hacking, examine specific solutions that are being implemented, and explore new ways that creative thinking can be solve legal and policy problems.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why are legal and regulatory regimes often unable to keep pace with technological innovation and change? Is there anything that can be done to change this?
  2. What are the policy problems that arise when the legal system does not keep pace with technological innovation?
  3. What are the approaches that policy experts and companies can use to overcome these problems and offer solutions to the technology community and consumers?
  4. What are some specific "legal hacks" in the areas of patent, privacy, copyright, terms of service, and contracts that have been developed and implemented by companies to solve these problems? How can this thinking be applied to other areas?
  5. What are some radical “though experiments” that we can perform to re-imagine a legal and regulatory regime that offers solutions rather than creating problems?



David Pashman, General Counsel, Meetup, Inc.

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