Extra! Extra! Pay Extra for News on Social Media!

By: Mason Hudon

The Australian Dilemma

In February of 2021, Facebook, Google, and the Australian government made headlines as they engaged in a fiery debate over proposed legislation that would force the media giants to pay for the ability to link news articles promulgated by Australian news companies through their digital platforms. An initial, and more aggressive version of this law, entitled Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Act of 2021 (NMDPMBC), was met with such reproach that Facebook actually halted news service to its Australian users in mid-February of this year, going “dark” for three to four days in an unprecedented protest to the alleged “assault” on its lucrative business model. Following talks between Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, and in the wake of a wave of negative press associated with the move to cut services, Facebook begrudgingly lifted restrictions near the end of February. A final law was subsequently passed by Australian parliament on February 25, with notable revisions borne of the contentious talks preceding its passage. Importantly, a proposed forced arbitration process, that would likely strongly increase the bargaining power of Australian media companies when legally enforced negotiations came to an impasse, was amended to include an opt out provision “if [a media company] could convince the government that it had already ‘made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses.’”

More importantly, the NMDPMBC has globally stoked the fires of debate over the current state of news media, as well as the very nature of the internet. A world first in its scope and breadth, the NMDPMBC could potentially be, “a move that[…] unleash[es] more global regulatory action to limit [media giants’] power.” Reactions to this contingency are mixed.

Some, like Timothy Berners-Lee, “the British computer scientist known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, say[…] Australian plans to make digital giants pay for journalism could set a precedent that renders the Internet as we know it unworkable.” By undermining the “free linking” system, whereby the internet is seen as an inherently free space for the sharing of information and wherein links may be hosted by any and all sources free of charge, critics of the Australian law see this situation as opening the floodgates to stifling the free exchange of information that has become a paramount aspect of the internet today. Furthermore, by requiring payment for the hosting of links to news websites or other sites as well, such regulations may narrow the field of companies that can fight their way into the market by raising already high startup costs.

In contrast, some see laws like the NMDPMBC as long-overdue arbiters of change that will return power to news media companies in the face of Facebook and Google’s recent, relative hegemony in the arena of the free press. Eli Sanders, opining in a University of Washington Law Election Law class on the effects of the internet on traditional news media practices, said “[l]ocal newspapers have seen over 70% of their ad revenue disappear as Facebook and Google have gobbled up the profits. 60% of newsroom employees have been shed by companies [and] the [media] platforms have decimated the underpinnings of journalism.” These numbers are backed up by in-depth data from the Pew Research Center, and it is widely reported that currently, “the Duopoly [Facebook and Google] captures 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising revenue.”

It is argued that this situation has caused a disintegration of the traditional process, driven by decreasing ad revenues, undermining thorough journalism while making it difficult for news media organizations to facilitate the “special push and pull between editors and writers” that has, for years, led to unbiased, fact-checked, and well-sourced journalism a la Walter Cronkite. The inability of news publishers to effectively profit off of their work is understood to contribute not only to job loss and poorer quality journalism, but also to the prevalence of fake news and misinformation due to the decreased integrity of traditional vetting processes. For years, lobbying groups within the United States, like the News Media Alliance, have argued these points to little avail.

With these facts in mind, the Australian NMDPMBC should serve multiple broad goals by giving Australian news media companies the ability to control their resources more properly and maintain larger staffs due to increased revenue from their reporting. It might also lessen the effects of disinformation and misinformation in the nation by providing a strong basis for ensuring that well-researched news is being promulgated into the marketplace of ideas, and might in the long run lead to more widespread quality journalism if companies are able to rebound from the deleterious financial effects that media giants have had on their bottom lines.

Is America Next?

Currently there is legislation in the works signaling that the United States might be poised to follow in Australia’s footsteps.

On March 10, 2021, House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI), ranking member Ken Buck (R-CO), Senate Antitrust chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced two identical versions of what is being called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA). “The bill would provide a limited antitrust safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for fair compensation for the use of their content,” provisions that appear to closely mirror those found in Australia’s NMDPMBC. The bill also appears to have clear targets: “[t]he draft defines online content distributors as companies with at least 1 billion monthly active users that display, distribute or direct users to news articles,” and this provision strongly suggests that the bill is meant to counter big tech’s power in the marketplace for news, rather than acting as a broad blanket provision that seeks to flush news providers with cash across the board.

Given the composition of the legislative branch and bipartisan criticism of the power wielded by media giants paired with their inability and unwillingness to better regulate their platforms, JCPA may find significant traction with lawmakers moving forward. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed support for the bill.

Perhaps just as telling, two days after the introduction of the JCPA, “[o]n Friday, March 12, the News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, testified at a House Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing, ‘Reviving Competition, Part 2: Saving the Free and Diverse Press,’ on the need for the dominant tech platforms, such as Facebook and Google, to compensate news publishers fairly for use of their content” in the United States.

In the end, Facebook and Google are entering an era of increased opposition to their dominion of the world wide web. Potential Section 230 reform, widespread pushback of the rollout of digital currencies, privacy concerns, and now the rising influence of the JCPA look to reign in the unabashed money-making machinations of big tech in the United States. While such criticisms are well-founded, questions remain as to what will become of the internet’s “free market” and provision of services to the consumer. Who or what will ultimately prevail? Only time will tell.

Why IP Law is Failing Native American Tribes

By: Katherine Czubakowski

Following the numerous protests and the cultural discussion surrounding racial identity which took place over the summer, and with immense pressure from financial sponsors, the Washington Redskins football team finally decided to stop using the offensive racial slur in their name.  But this is not the only example of commercial misuse of Native American culture and identity: the Cherokee Nation has repeatedly requested that Jeep stop using their name on its cars; the Navajo Nation recently sued Urban Outfitters over their product lines branded as “Navajo” – including underwear and flasks – which appropriated traditional Navajo designs as well as tarnishing the Navajo name; and Hopi Blue Popcorn has long marketed itself using native culture, despite not having any connection to the Hopi tribe nor actually containing the blue corn the tribe considers sacred.  So why are tribes particularly at risk of having their names and culture misappropriated?

To answer this question, it is important to first understand the fundamental assumptions surrounding Western intellectual property laws, which protect valuable ideas.  There are four major types of intellectual property protections: trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.  All of these assume that someone, be it an individual or a company, has created something of value which they want to exclude all others from using for a period of time.  Trade secret law allows for the infinite protection of a commercial secret as long as the individual or company makes reasonable efforts to keep it secret.  Examples of trade secrets are the code behind software programs and particular methods of manufacturing particular products which improve their quality.  Trademarks keep others from using a name or symbol which is used in commerce as an identifier of a specific product or set of products.  They are also of unlimited duration as long as the mark is in use.  Some famous trademarks include the Nike swoosh, the name “Google,” and the Apple symbol.  Copyrights aim to protect creative expressions which have been fixed in a tangible medium, but do not protect the underlying facts or ideas contained in them.  Copyrights are of limited duration (usually the life of the author plus 70 years) and must be registered by the creator of the work.  Copyright can cover books, such as Harry Potter, songs, like Bohemian Rhapsody, and artistic works, like Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans.  Finally, patents are the only protection which must be registered through the United States Patent and Trademark Office to be valid and are used to protect technical advancements or inventions.  Together, these four protections generally aim to incentivize creativity and innovation by creating a limited monopoly for the creator.  Patents cover inventions like the lightbulb, specialized manufacturing equipment, and medical drug recipes.

Each of the four major categories of intellectual property rights fails to protect Native American tribal names for a different reason, leaving them unprotected in the public domain for general use or misuse.  Trade secret law fails to protect tribal culture and names because tribes do not attempt to keep these things secret.  Sacred objects are widely known throughout the tribe and sometimes publicly displayed as part of their ritual usage.  Patent similarly provides no obvious protection for tribal names and culture because they are not new scientific inventions or technological advancements.  Although some tribes have had success with registering their names as a trademark, registration requires that a name or cultural object be used in commerce and that the word not be a generic term.  These requirements can quickly invalidate tribal names since many tribes do not commercialize their names or culture, nor do they want to do so, and tribal words have been appropriated by white companies for years which puts them in danger of being labeled generic.  Some tribal symbols have even been incorporated into state flags and are therefore specifically invalidated from being trademarked.  Copyright protections also frequently fail to protect tribal names and cultural symbols.  Copyright is generally reserved for expressive works, not individual works or short phrases, which prevents tribes from copyrighting their names.  Similarly, because copyright focuses on providing exclusivity to a creator, tribes are not able to identify a single person or small group of persons who whom they could attribute the name or cultural concept.  Finally, copyright is time restricted, usually applying only to the life of the author plus 70 years, which would leave tribal names and traditional symbols open to misappropriation again relatively quickly.  The right of publicity is also considered an intellectual property right which allows people to control their name and image, but this right is generally reserved only for individual identities and not for group identities, which generally fall under trademark law.

Congress recognized this lack of protection for tribal culture in 1990 with the passage of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.  This bill makes it illegal for individuals and companies to sell or offer to sell any art or craft in a way which wrongly suggests that it was produced by an Indian tribe or craftsman.  For example, jewelry marketed as “Indian” or “Navajo” jewelry would violate the Act if it were not produced by a member of an Indian tribe or a member of the Navajo Nation specifically.  Although this Act does protect commercialization of tribal craftsmanship and tangible goods, it does not prevent companies from appropriating tribal names for use on wholly unrelated goods or from appropriating tribal designs in their products.

In order to better protect tribal culture and names, Congress and state legislatures should act to specifically extend the right of publicity to tribal governments and to give tribes the right to control commercial exploitation of their names.  The right of publicity is generally governed by state statute or case law.  States should explicitly amend their statutes to extend the right of publicity to tribes, giving them control over public representations of their culture.  However, this would likely only protect accurate representations of tribal culture and would not protect tribes from being associated with mischaracterizations or stereotypes.  Similarly, Congress should pass legislation allowing for tribes to protect their names and cultural symbols through trademark law despite their lack of usage in commerce.  Giving tribes control over the commercial exploitation of their names and cultural symbols would not only allow tribes to ensure that their culture is treated with respect, but would also open up a much needed economic opportunity for tribes.

For now, tribes lack any legal recourse to stop Jeep from marketing the Cherokee or Urban Outfitters from using traditional Navajo patterns on their underwear.  Hopefully, the attention brought to racist and stereotypical names, slogans, and symbols over the summer will push companies to ask for tribal permission before using their names on products.  However, Congressional and state legislative action is needed to ensure that tribes have full control over their identities regardless of whether or not corporations are willing to change.

Closing the Digital Divide: Washington’s Paramount Duty to Fund Educational Technology

By: Alec Dugan

“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.” Those 34 words of Article IX, Section 1 of the Washington Constitution are the foundation of our state’s guarantee to K-12 education. School funding has been a longstanding issue for the state legislature, but in the years since the Washington State Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision, the state has increased funding to meet its constitutional obligation. However, COVID-19 continues to ravage communities, and the state may still be falling short of its paramount duty to provide education for the children of Washington. As schools have shut down and shifted online, the economic and racial disparities in our state’s education system are more apparent than ever. Technology is no longer a luxury for wealthy districts but an essential component of basic education. It is therefore the duty of the state, not the districts, to fund educational technology.

Washington’s Paramount Duty

Although Washington’s “paramount duty” clause can be traced back to the state’s founding in 1889, it did not come to the forefront of state politics until the mid-1970s. In Seattle School District v. State, the Washington State Supreme Court interpreted the “paramount duty” clause to create an absolute right for the children of Washington to receive an “amply funded education.” Importantly, this right is to be funded by the state, not by the local school districts. Since then, education funding has remained a difficult topic in Washington politics. The Washington Supreme Court recently found in McCleary that the state had again failed its duty to amply fund public education when it defined basic education in a 2009 education reform bill but continued to rely on local levies for funding. Although the court ruled in 2018 that the state had finally met its obligation to fund public schools, educators have continued to project budget shortfalls.

That was before the pandemic, and the most recent estimates project state revenue will be $3.3 billion less over the next four years than it would have been without the pandemic. While experts predict that education expenditures are unlikely to backslide due to their constitutional necessity, legislators expect there to be little increase in future spending. This may have been acceptable before the pandemic, The Washington State Supreme Court approved the legislature’s funding plan, but the pandemic has changed the way we teach. Although schools have begun to return to in-person learning, a future of education predicated on technology and remote instruction challenges the adequacy of present funding.

In the Shadow of the Pandemic

The gap in access to computers and the internet, the “digital divide,” has only become more important during the pandemic. A recent survey found that 64% of districts with a large number of low-income students expected technology access to be a major issue, compared to only 21% of districts with a small number of low-income students. As for racial disparities, a study of parents with children in remote learning found that 15.6% of black parents reported inadequate access to technology compared to 8% of white parents. Making matters worse, disadvantaged students are more likely than others to be in remote learning.

To remedy this problem, school districts and the state have purchased computers and subsidized internet for students, with much of the money coming from federal stimulus funds. In addition, Governor Jay Inslee has proposed spending $79 million in the 2021-23 budget to support residential access to the internet, but there is no guarantee the legislature will adopt the governor’s proposal, and the federal funds are only temporary. Still, the pandemic is expected to have a long-lasting effect on our educational system. In particular, the adoption of education technology has exploded since the start of the pandemic, with Washington-based company Blackboard reporting a 3,600% increase in users of its ‘Collaborate’ virtual classroom tool in March 2020. With so many students becoming accustomed to eLearning, technology will play a vital role in the future of K-12 education.

Still, access to technology remains disparate between school districts. After the McCleary decision, the state capped local levy collection in a so-called ‘levy swap,’ increasing state property taxes that fund basic education while reducing voter-approved levies. Beginning in 2019, local school levies could only be used for “enrichment,” not the funding of basic education. Despite a 2018 adoption of educational technology standards by the state Superintendent, one of the more popular “enrichment” items has been technology. In a 2018 editorial, 15 of 24 King and Snohomish county districts surveyed by The Seattle Times had technology levies on the ballot. Although the state funding formula incorporates technology as a component of the per-student allocation, at roughly $165 per-student it would seem as though the state has fallen back to its old ways of identifying basic educational needs and relying on school districts to fund them.

In a post-pandemic world technology plays a much larger role in education than merely enrichment. When schools return to in-person instruction we can likely expect some of the changes made during the pandemic, like online homework submission, to be retained. In such a technology-dependent society, simply providing printed alternatives is not a sufficient substitute. This is particularly true when at the heart of McCleary was the goal to reduce educational inequity. While the minimum technological requirement is unclear, the state cannot rely on local districts to bridge the divide. Rather, it has become the obligation of the state to fund educational technology as part of basic education. In doing so, the state may move closer to upholding its paramount duty to provide for basic education to all children of Washington, not just those who can afford it.

Faceprints: How Clearview AI Uses Your Social Media Posts to Sell Your Identity Without Your Knowledge

By: Alex Coplan

Clearview AI is a small company that has constructed perhaps the largest international facial recognition database ever created. Clearview’s AI program calculates unique indicators about our bodies—like the distance between our eyes and the shapes of our cheekbones—to create a “faceprint.” Clearview scrubs this data from social media posts, online videos, and more, amassing billions of faceprints without our consent. Similar to DNA or fingerprint information, law enforcement and other entities can use Clearview’s faceprints to identify us.

Companies should not be able to collect and store our biometric data without our consent. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Clearview for violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). BIPA prohibits capturing people’s biometric information—such as DNA, fingerprints, or faceprints—without their consent. By using Illinois’ BIPA and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), states can use their own biometric privacy laws to protect their citizens while they wait for the federal government to create uniform standards.

Clearview is unlike other facial recognition technologies used by authorities, which pull their photos from drivers licenses and mugshot photos.  Instead, Clearview allows its user to take a photo of someone, upload it, and then see public photos of that person, along with links to where the photos were taken. Fortunately, Clearview stopped selling its product to private companies and instead only provides use to law enforcement agencies. There are at least 2,400 United States law enforcement agencies that use Clearview.

Make no mistake, there are some benefits to Clearview’s technology. Clearview has helped law enforcement solve shoplifting, identy theft, credit card fraud, murder, and child exploitation cases. It was even used to positively identify some rioters that attacked the U.S. Capitol this January.

Despite the benefits of a program like Clearview, the dangers are real. The capture and storage of faceprints leaves people vulnerable to data breaches and identity theft. The ACLU’s complaint alleges that Clearview’s technology “can invasively identify everyone at a protest, a political rally, a house of worship, a domestic violence shelter, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and more.” Further, United States Senator Ed Markey summarized the complications surrounding a future Clearview data breach by asserting that “if your password gets breached, you can change your password. If your credit card number gets breached, you can cancel your card. But you can’t change biometric information like your facial characteristics if a company like Clearview fails to keep that data secure.”

In defense of widespread criticism, Clearview argues it has a First Amendment right to disseminate information that is publicly available online. Clearview claims it gathers only publicly-available photos and then uses them in a search engine that expresses Clearview’s opinion on who is in those photos. Current constitutional protections may hold that Clearview is right. Clearview may freely discuss and circulate images it finds online without violating the First Amendment. Additionally, Fourth Amendment privacy protections are not currently violated by the use of facial recognition programs on publicly available information.

Instead, Clearview violates state biometric privacy laws that prohibit private companies from capturing our faceprints without notice and consent. Currently, there is no comprehensive federal privacy law governing the collection, use, and sale of biometric data by private companies. Therefore, states are left to determine how they want to handle the situation. Illinois, through BIPA, may find the use of Clearview illegal, absent an individual’s consent. Another class action BIPA suit settled this year against Facebook, in which the social media giant will pay out approximately $550 million for its unlawful use of their facial recognition technology. Facebook sparked that lawsuit when it’s initial version of it’s Tag Suggestion tool captured faces from users, using and storing that biometric data without individual consent. Through photos published by users, Facebook’s Tag Suggestion tool scanned faces and gave suggestions about who the person in the photo might be.

Adopted in 2008, BIPA remains one of the strictest biometric data laws in the country. BIPA is an informed consent statute that protects individuals’ privacy by making it unlawful for a company to, among other things, “collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person’s or a customer’s biometric identifiers” unless it first provides notice that biometric information is being stored, and informs the subject of the purpose and length of term for which the information is being collected. Further, the statute protects Illinois citizens from sale, release, trade, or profitization of their biometric information by private companies.

By failing to inform people how, when, and to what extent their biometric data will be used, Clearview has failed to obtain the necessary consent of the individuals who appear in the photos they collect. Combined with the recent ruling against Facebook, the class action suit against Clearview has a good chance of success.

To mitigate the issue, Clearview has cancelled all accounts belonging to any entity in Illinois. However, they argue they should not face an injunction prohibiting them from using current or past biometric data from Illinois residents. Pursuant to Illinois’ BIPA, they will likely have a tough time overcoming the injunction.

The fight to protect against the dangers of face surveillance technology is ongoing. Across the nation, the ACLU and other advocacy groups have been successful in implementing bans on police use of facial recognition technology. Until Congress regulates the growing popularity of these softwares, states and private entities will be left to defend themselves against the intrusions on our privacy. In the meantime, states should use Illinois’ BIPA as a model for their own biometric privacy regulations.

Keeping Cameras (and Cat Filters) Out of the Supreme Court

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

By: Moses Meracov

As the pandemic rages on, courts around the U.S are resorting to online video conference platforms to proceed with hearings. Although they are sometimes marred with glitches and technical difficulties, a prominent example being a certain Texas lawyer being unable to turn off a cat filter, online video meetings are virtually the next best thing in lieu of meeting in person. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court recently refused to resort to Zoom and instead opted for archaic telephone conferences.  Although many law students and SCOTUS fans may feel existential dread for not being able to see Chief Justice Roberts as a wide-eyed kitten, the Supreme Court supposedly has good reason for limiting remote conferences to the telephone.

As a practical matter, cameras are prohibited for use in the Supreme Court by Federal Rule 53. The rule establishes that “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by a statute or [certain] rules, the court must not permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom.” State courts are not bound by this rule and many Federal courts have recently skirted around the rule using authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”)(see Sec. 15002). The CARES act exception, however, only truly applies to criminal proceedings. As a political matter, Retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter famously stated that “[t]he day you see a camera come into [the Supreme Court], it’s going to roll over my dead body.” Justice Souter’s explicit aversion to allowing media broadcast videos of court proceedings is a sentiment shared by many Justices who feel that adding cameras to the courtroom would jeopardize the Court as an institution.

In an age where virtually all information is produced, consumed, and distributed instantaneously, it is difficult to believe that the American public lacks access to videos of Supreme Court proceedings. However, there are distinct reasons for the Supreme Court’s refusal to succumb to the pressures of media in the New Media age. Opponents of in-court cameras generally argue that allowing cameras into the courtroom would (1) magnify public misconception and distort the Supreme Court, (2) lead to virulent political grandstanding, and (3) erode the effectiveness of an institution that has worked fine without it. These arguments and their related suppositions are expanded below.

First, permitting video-taking of Supreme Court proceedings might lead to unneeded public misconception. For example, consider Justice Clarence Thomas’ notorious silence during oral arguments. The public may misconstrue this silence as intellectual inability and/or laziness on the part of Justice Thomas to deliberate judicial issues. In reality, Justice Thomas likely works hours outside the oral argument portion picking apart written briefs, discussing cases with his colleagues in the conference room, working with legal aides, and understanding necessary case precedents. That small issue may be a microcosm of how the public would perceive the Supreme Court in general. Cameras will not follow Justices into the private conference room or their offices, where most of the work is done. Since the cameras would only be present during oral proceedings, the public may assume that the oral argument is the most important process in deciding cases since it is the only segment that will be televised. Holistically, these misconceptions may work to lower the stature and institutional perception of the Supreme Court.  

Second, televised oral proceedings, as seen with practically any televised political process, may serve as a catalyst to widespread grandstanding, subsequently distorting the decision-making process. Nightly news programs could constantly air short clips, as they already do, which would misrepresent arguments and cases. Understanding that, lawyers and even Justices are more likely to use the oral argument as a medium from which to spew philosophies or magnificent speeches rather than discuss the complexities of certain statutes. Furthermore, many lawyers will take the opportunity to manipulate public perception in order to gain favor for their side. Plus, aspiring super lawyers and those seeking more business may use the oral argument as a soapbox from which they can attract more clients, instead of helping Supreme Court Justices understand their positions. Thus, cameras would possibly hamper or even suppress proper justice and deliberation from taking place. 

Third, the Supreme Court has functioned effectively without the need for cameras for 232 years as of 2021.  In looking at this issue, the old adage comes to mind: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. The adoption of cameras into the courtroom does not solve any real problem, rather it is a perceived (by some) improvement. That improvement, however, may come with a host of potential problems.

A fair counter argument in authorizing cameras into the Supreme Court is that cameras would function to make the Court as transparent as possible. Transparency exists in almost all of America’s political institutions. Why should the Court be exempt? After all, cameras are allowed in Congress, arguably the central power in our government. Nevertheless, camera-opponents point out that the argument is a misunderstanding of how the Court already functions. Transcripts and audio recordings of the Court are already publicly distributed. Court Briefs are available online for everyone to read. Proceedings are open to the public and for news agencies to observe. In short, the Supreme Court is considerably transparent. Adding in cameras, opponents generally argue, would do nothing but turn the judicial process into visual entertainment. Why cloud widely available, substantial information with a layer of useless theatrics?   

Although these arguments by camera-opponents may be theoretically compelling, and the Supreme Court thereby holds a no-camera principle, our exigent times have shown that their claims may not bear muster in reality. For example, there have been virtually no issues of grandstanding in state and circuit courts that have adopted online video conferencing. It may only be a matter of time before the Supreme Court and our legislative bodies realize that holding telephone-only hearings is needlessly difficult as compared to a video meeting. In light of the times and in respect to the Supreme Court’s desires, the ultimate solution for the Justices would be online video conferences to hear oral arguments with audio-only recordings/livestreams for the rest of the public.