Archive for the ‘cyberlaw’ tag
Just a note to plug this year’s Policy Forum at the Society for Computers and Law. Prof. Chris Reed is the chair, and the title is “The Shock of the New or How we are losing (and gaining) control over data”. Further information here. The event encompasses a free lecture by Dr. Ian Brown (more information here). The event takes place in London on 12-13 September 2013.
I’m speaking on an a panel with a promising description:
Smartphones, tablets and glasses: taking the Internet with you
Portable, personal devices are rapidly becoming the default way to access, generate and process information. Because they travel with their user, their interactions with other devices (fixed and mobile) generates rich metadata which links to the user. Because they are in some sense “owned” by the user, they potentially upset the current legal settlement for rights in and control over information. “Bring your own device” is making significant inroads in large organisations.
- Chair: Judith Rauhofer, Lecturer in IT Law, University of Edinburgh
- Portable devices and the internet of things, George Roussos, Department of Computer Science, Birkbeck
- Human rights and the omnipresent network, Dr Daithí Mac Sithigh, Lecturer in Digital Media Law, University of Edinburgh.
- Pick a law, any law: property v IP v contract, Olivier Haas, Of Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills
My Edinburgh colleague Judith Rauhofer (who has a particular research and teaching interest in privacy, data protection, and information), along with Caspar Bowden (who many readers will know through his writing and advocacy on privacy), has just launched a very timely paper on data protection in ‘the cloud’, with a particular emphasis on data stored in the US and subject to US law on access to data. Judith and Caspar have been making this argument well before the current PRISM/NSA reporting, and the paper makes it clear how there are already a number of important legal issues that require attention. The paper engages with recent scholarship on cloud computing itself (e.g. the Queen Mary projects) and the proposed new Regulation on data protection. It also contains a very detailed analysis of FISA. But the key argument, and the one that deserves the most attention from those who have reacted with alarm to recent news reports, is that about the obligations of European institutions to protect fundamental rights; both the Charter and Convention are discussed.
The paper is now available on SSRN:
The 2013 conference of the Society of Legal Scholars takes place here in Edinburgh this September. I continue as convenor of the Media & Communications section, and we have a particularly exciting (and packed) programme this year. An EU session, a set of responses to Leveson, and two general sessions (one with a social media flavour and one with a human rights theme).
Registration is now open; ‘early bird’ discount until the end of July.
Tuesday 3rd September
A1: 14.00-15.30 (Special session on conference theme)
Ewa Komorek (Trinity College Dublin):
The problem which will not go away. Recent developments in the EU approach to media pluralism issue
Dimitrios Doukas (Belfast):
The Sky is not the (Only) Limit – Sports Broadcasting without Frontiers and the European Court of Justice
Alan Durant (Middlesex):
The DPP’s Interim guidelines (December 2012) on prosecuting communications via social media
Damien McCallig (Galway):
Intrusion into private grief: regulating the reporting and presentation of deceased persons in the modern media
Paul Bernal (East Anglia):
Defamation on Twitter: a defence of ‘responsible tweeting’
Wednesday 4th September
Yik Chan Chin (Hong Kong Baptist) & Yanbin Lu (Nottingham):
Defenses of Freedom of Expression in Chinese Right to Reputation Lawsuits
Päivi Tiilikka (Helsinki):
Margin of appreciation and balancing-criteria in the practise of the ECtHR when balancing the freedom of expression and right to private life – is there any consistency?
Jason Bosland (Melbourne)
Defamation, Statutory Reform and the Protection of Opinion in Australia and the United Kingdom
A4: 14.00-15.30 (Leveson Inquiry session, chaired by Tom Gibbons, Manchester)
Paul Wragg (Leeds):
Freedom of the Press after Leveson
Judith Townend (City):
An uncertain climate: Defamation, privacy and the resolution of disputes outside the courtroom
Karen Mc Cullagh (East Anglia):
Regulation of Investigative Journalism post Leveson
This month, the final versions of two of my articles have been published by Oxford University Press. OUP’s approach to copyright allows pre-prints to be posted on sites like SSRN, but for final versions, the author is supplied with a free-access URL instead. This link can be posted on personal or institutional sites (like this one).
(1) Daithí Mac Síthigh, ‘App law within: rights and regulation in the smartphone age‘ (2013) 21 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 154-186.
An earlier version appeared as a working paper, posted here. The final version includes the changes proposed by the editor and by peer reviewers (including some reorganisation and clarification of the core questions), as well as a small number of subsequent developments.
(2) Daithí Mac Síthigh, ‘The fragmentation of intermediary liability in the UK‘ (2013) 8 Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice 521-531.
This is now online for the first time. It’s a shorter paper (just at the upper limit of 7500 words for this journal, although they print in columns so it’s not too long when printed!), which started life as a talk and a briefing paper for events with legal practitioners. Subsequently, I wrote it up in more detail, and also added new material on the Defamation Bill (now Act) as it developed. Here’s the abstract:
It is argued that the system for intermediary liability (for mere conduits, hosts and search engines) is splitting into a number of different systems.
In the case of copyright, intermediaries (particular mere conduits) have new duties. However, regarding defamation (and to a lesser extent privacy), new schemes are reducing the liability risk of hosts – under certain circumstances.
The result is that the single system of the Electronic Commerce Directive is being replaced by a mixture of EU and national legislation, revived common law doctrines, and specific provisions for particular areas of law.
News, blog posts, etc
Lisa Campbell, ‘Is Netflix just a novelty?‘ (Broadcast 14 February 2013). Given my interest in VOD (primarily how it is regulated but to get there requires understanding the market), the last few weeks have provided much to think about. I can’t decide whether to be impressed at the Netflix coup of launching House of Cards as an all-at-once release or cynical about how its press releases were parroted by some in the press. I think both. Anyway, the coverage in Broadcast does look at it from a number of different angles. (Thought I will return to although I’ve probably said it before: if the standard for being covered by EU audiovisual media law includes being ‘TV-like’ subject to interpretation in a ‘dynamic’ way, does this sort of move make a difference?)
Jeremy Phillips, ‘Save our hyperlinks! Paws for reflection as Profs Opine‘ (IPKat 15 February 2013). Commentary on the intervention of academic group the European Copyright Society (does it have a website? cannot find) in a very important case on hyperlinks, Svensson. The case is before the Court of Justice of the EU shortly and takes up a question much loved by IT textbooks more or less since they started to exist: is a link one of the acts restricted under copyright law? If so, then the consent of the author of the target page may be necessary – but the consequences are significant.
Claire Porter, ‘Google ‘flaw’ puts users’ details on display‘ (News.com.au 16 February 2013). Another tricky story about apps and privacy; this one is about the Google Play store. Worth noting that there is a bit of discussion about the way the story has been reported (and amended) – see e.g. here. Original link via Slashdot.
David Streitfield, ‘Tech Industry Sets Its Sights on Gambling‘ (New York Times 18 February 2013). Discusses the implications of any change in the law on online gambling in the US for social networks and for the casual gaming sector. Also mentions the interesting issue of gambling and Diablo.
William Turvill, ‘News agencies’ fear over impact of copyright law proposals‘ (Press Gazette 20 February 2013). It looks like the lobbying against the proposed implementation of the Hargreaves Review is well underway now. I think there is a fair point to be made about the constitutional problems (the typical, pernicious turn to secondary legislation in place of proper parliamentary scrutiny), although the substantive arguments tend to the alarmist. For example, I can see why the photographer groups who were critical of orphan works proposals in the past are sceptical about extended collective licensing. Less obvious to me is why that opposition extends to the long-overdue proposals on parody. Perhaps there’s just general opposition. We’ll see. Given that some of these recommendations are still overdue from Gowers 2006, it would be a shame to get stuck at this stage..
Speaking of parody: Kris Erickson, ‘Evaluating the Impact of Parody on the Exploitation of Copyright Works: An Empirical Study of Music Video Content on YouTube‘ (Bournemouth University for IPO, 2013). Fascinating attempt to measure the consequences of protecting (or not protecting) parody. Via Rebecca Tushnet.
And more on copyright: Lee Edwards, Bethany Klein, David Lee, Giles Moss, and Fiona Philip, ‘Framing the consumer: Copyright regulation and the public’ (2013) 19 Convergence 9-24 (£). Multi-disciplinary perspective on attitudes to copyright, with a particular interest in downloading (other articles in the same issue also explore the theme of attitudes and IP)