The latest Quilliam Club podcast is the first in a new series on ‘identity and technology’. The discussion took as its starting point Norberto Andrade’s “Oblivion: The Right to Be Different… from Oneself // Reproposing the Right to be Forgotten” (2012) 13 Revista De Internet, Derecho Y Politica 122-137. I am one of the voices heard on the recording, which can be found here.
Registration is now open for our one-day conference on misuse of private information, breach of confidence and the world since Campbell v MGN. You can register online here.
Here’s the draft programme (click to enlarge):
Two pieces of mine have recently appeared in online law journals. They are available without charge or login from the journals concerned; both journals are open access journals. You can also download the articles from SSRN.
The first article emerges out of the CREATe project on games, transmedia and the law. Along with my UEA friends Dr. Keith M. Johnston and Dr. Tom Phillips, I have been thinking about legal and business issues in and around the games industry, with a particular interest in new and emerging business models. This particular piece, “Multiplayer Games: Tax, Copyright, Consumers and the Video Game Industries” (European Journal of Law and Technology | SSRN) is a discussion of the impact of legal measures in each of the three cited fields.
The successes of the games industry requires an analysis of the way in which the state is influencing, or attempting to influence, the development of the sector. Drawing from a research project on games, transmedia and the law, including a roundtable with developers and others from the industry, a critical perspective is provided on the impact of three types of law (tax, consumer and intellectual property) on the UK industry. The negotiation and eventual approval of a tax credit for video game development expenditure is reviewed. This is an example of the games industry lobbying for and welcoming the creation of a specific (but film-influenced) legal status for the “video game” – but the passage of the scheme raises troubling questions about the cultural status of games. A significant commercial issue, that of consumer protection, is then discussed. Consumer legislation may prove to constrain certain developments in relation to games; it is argued that there is a special impact on new platforms, because of the (deserved) official attention now being paid to in-app purchases. In relation to intellectual property, the alignment (or misalignment) of copyright law with concepts of value in the sector is considered, with particular reference to “cloning”. In conclusion, the particular impact of the three fields on new platforms, and the different degrees to which legislation is contributing to the development of the games sector, is considered. It is argued that the emerging business model of F2P non-console games is not handled as well as it should be, particularly as compared with other business models in the sector.
The second, shorter piece is an update for the law and technology journal SCRIPTed on recent developments in online gambling law. I discuss two particular developments: a significant retreat from the ‘deregulatory’ Gambling Act in Great Britain (amended to provide for greater control over foreign providers advertising or doing business in the UK), and a further step in the EU’s attempt to get to grips with the field – a Recommendation from the European Commission. The piece is “When The Dealin’s Done? Recent Developments in Online Gambling Law and Policy” (SCRIPTed | SSRN) and, to my great delight, was submitted on Kenny Rogers’ 68th birthday.
Three job-related announcements.
1. The University of Edinburgh has advertised a post (Lecturer or Senior Lecturer) in “digital media law”. As you will see from the job description, there are a number of specific research and teaching needs, although digital media is to be broadly understood. The person appointed will be a part of the SCRIPT research centre and the IP, Media and Technology subject area at the Edinburgh Law School.
2. If you know me, the job description will sound not a million miles from what I do at the moment. And my name doesn’t appear on the list of people the successful candidate would work with. So it might not come as the greatest of surprises for me to say that I am leaving Edinburgh this summer, to take up a post as a Reader in Law at Newcastle University (specifically, Newcastle Law School).
3. Newcastle itself has advertised a further group of jobs. Three lectureships and a teaching fellowship. For the lectureships, there are particular needs at present in commercial law, land law/equity, criminal law, and maritime law.
Due to issues with the SLS email system, the deadline is now 4th April.
This is a call for papers for the Media & Communications section of the 2014 SLS Annual Conference to be held at the University of Nottingham from 9th – 12th September. The overall theme of the conference this year will be ‘Judging in the 21st Century’. Calls from other subject sections are also available.
This section will meet in the first half of the conference on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th September (Section A). If you are interested in presenting a paper, please e-mail a proposed title and short abstract to me at daithi.mac.sithigh AT ed.ac.uk by
Monday 17th March 4th April. Proposals are invited on any issue relating to media and communications law, including those addressing this year’s conference theme. Last year’s conference saw a very wide range of papers presented in this section, at well-attended sessions, and proposals are welcome from scholars at all stages of their careers.
Academic papers are invited on any area of media and communications law, including (but not limited to):
- the regulation of broadcasting (in the UK, Ireland and/or elsewhere)
- defamation and reputation, including the Defamation Act 2013
- privacy / breach of confidence
- freedom of expression and information in the context of media and communications (for example, content regulation)
- advertising, sponsorship and promotion
- regulatory challenges associated with new or emerging forms of distribution
- telecommunications law and policy
- media ownership and pluralism
- the debate on forms of press regulation
- competition and the media and communications industries
- the laws, practices and codes affecting journalism (e.g. contempt of court, subterfuge, court reporting, recognition/status of journalists)
- the control of marketing, advertising, and sponsorship
- contract and rights issues affecting the media and communications sectors
- universal design / access in relation to communications
As the SLS is keen to ensure that as many members with good quality papers as possible are able to present, speakers are strongly discouraged from presenting more than one paper at the conference. With this in mind, I would be grateful if you could let me know if you are also responding to calls for papers from other sections.
Please note that whilst you need only send a proposed title and abstract at this stage, speakers are encouraged to submit a full paper to the SLS paperbank before the conference. The SLS offers a Best Paper Prize which can be awarded to academics at any stage of their career. The Prize carries a £250 monetary award and winning papers are published in Legal Studies. Further details about the Prize are available here. The following three conditions must be met: (1) all authors must be fully paid-up members of the SLS; (2) the paper must have not been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication; (3) the paper must not exceed 10000 words.
All speakers will need to book and pay to attend the conference. Booking information will be circulated in due course. If your participation in the conference is dependent on funding and/or a visa, I would be very grateful if you could let me know at an early stage.
I look forward to your proposals, but please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance, or to discuss a proposal in advance of formal submission.
Daithí Mac Síthigh
Convenor, Media & Communications Subject Section