Wed 16 May, 4.30pm: João Pedro Quintais (Amsterdam) – Global Online Copyright Infringement: Exploring Standards of Liability

As exam weeks and essay deadlines will be over soon, and summer is on its way (hopefully), we are wrapping up this semester with our next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group event. In this final session, Dr João Pedro Quintais (IViR, Amsterdam Law School) will be presenting his latest research on global online copyright infringement. The talk will take place on Wednesday 16 May at 4.30pm in Room 11.18, David Hume Tower. (Please note the change of the date/time from initially advertised.)

Global Online Copyright Infringement:
Exploring Standards of Liability

Is it possible to derive common standards of liability for online copyright infringement from diverse national legal systems? Can these provide a basis for uniform liability standards in international copyright law? The presentation explores these questions against the background of a multi-country study on online copyright infringement carried out between June 2017 and May 2018 (the ‘Study’). The Study examines the online use of protected music, films and TV series, books, and video games covered by an exclusive right (under copyright and related rights) but not authorized by the rights holders or otherwise permitted under the applicable law (e.g. by virtue of an exception or limitation). It covers the following legal systems: France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, and Canada.

The Study aims to provide accurate information about the state of online copyright infringement in different countries. In this context, legal questionnaires were carried out for each country, focusing on quantitative and qualitative information describing the legal situation of online copyright infringement at national level, including the status of online use of works and enforcement by public authorities and rights holders. This information includes the analysis of law, case law and relevant scholarship, with a focus on the description and adjudication of the law.

The presentation builds on the Study’s findings to provide a comparative overview of the selected national legal systems within the context of the relevant international and regional legal frameworks. It addresses the legal status of different types of online use (e.g. downloading and hyperlinking) and the civil liability of users and intermediaries. The analysis is developed as a thinking exercise to identify and conceptualize common standards of liability for online copyright infringement.

Copyright law operates as a multi-level system comprising international, regional (mostly European, for our purposes), and national systems. International and EU copyright law are substantially harmonized through the imposition of minimum standards, thus determining the content of the domestic laws under scrutiny. Despite that, the diversity of the legal systems provides important insights. The selected systems represent four different continents (Europe, Asia, North and South America), different legal families (e.g. common law UK vs civil law France), different copyright traditions (German monism vs French droit d’auteur vs UK copyright), and different stages of market development for cultural and entertainment goods and services (e.g. a more developed Canada vs the emerging economies of Indonesia and Brazil). This diversity is useful for the identification of commonalities and differences in the interpretation of existing international treaties, as well as potential emerging standards or practices beyond (or absent) existing rules.

The presentation will briefly set out the baseline of the multi-level international framework in which the national legal systems are integrated. It will then provide a comparative overview of the relevant legal rules and their application in those systems. The focus is on the legal status of different types of online use (e.g. downloading, stream-ripping, and hyperlinking) and the liability of users and intermediaries. This will be followed by a discussion on standards of liability for online copyright infringement that emerge from the comparative analysis, advancing a modest two-tiered proposal for a minimum liability standard at international level.

As always, everyone is welcome and no registration is required. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, then an informal reception where refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing many of you then!

Mon 16 Apr, 4.30pm: Anja Møller Pedersen (Copenhagen) – Reconciling the Right to Privacy with Freedom of Expression in the EU legal order

We are pleased to confirm that the next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group seminar will take place on Monday 16 April 2018 at 4.30pm, in Room LG.08, David Hume Tower. Our guest speaker, Anja Møller Pedersen from University of Copenhagen, will present her research on the following topic:

Reconciling the Right to Privacy with Freedom of Expression in the EU legal order

The fundamental rights to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression all play a crucial role in our everyday lives, online as well as offline. They are closely interrelated, but at the same time both mutually enforcing and conflicting. In my PhD, I seek to tease out their underlying rationales, and explore how they are reflected in EU law, and how they influence the ways in which the rights interact and conflict. In my presentation I will focus mainly on how the underlying rationales of privacy are reflected in EU law.

As always, all students and staff are welcome and no registration is required. The talk will be followed by a Q&A section as well as a further informal discussion, where refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to stay informed of our latest events, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Fri 2 Mar, 4.30pm: Dr Kristina Irion (Amsterdam) – The Interface Between Privacy and Trade: The European Union Governance of Personal Data Flows and Digital Trade

We are delighted to announce that our first event of the IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group seminar series this semester will take place on Friday 2 March 2018 at 4.30pm, in Room 1.01 David Hume TowerDr Kristina Irion from IViR, University of Amsterdam will present her latest research on the following topic:

The Interface Between Privacy and Trade:
The European Union Governance of Personal Data Flows and Digital Trade

The issue of global data flow, which underpins digital trade and economic cooperation between countries, has moved center stage in international trade relations. Next to astounding estimates on the positive feedback loop of global data flows on international trade, growth and welfare, conflicting public interests and policy objectives can easily appear subordinated. Among others the European Union’s (EU) strict data protection regime is now discussed as a new barrier to digital trade.

The trade and privacy interface has yet to be fully formed, both doctrinally and normatively. It is however clear that the relative success of claiming free data flows in international trade law will predestine the faith of privacy as a human right. The EU has a key role to play in the global governance of privacy, particularly regarding the protection of personal data. Aligning its normative approach to personal data protection with its external trade policy has been difficult but it seems the European Commission has reached a compromise.

In my talk I will juxtaposes the EU governance of the transfer of personal data to third countries and its trade policy in relation to free data flow commitments in next generation free trade agreements. This contribution will break through the present compartmentalisation of privacy scholarship and trade lawyers which has even divided EU institutions.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.

If you would like to stay informed of our latest events, please subscribe to our mailing list.

IPDG Events: Spring Semester 2018

Hi everyone!

We hope you all enjoyed the festive season and feel excited about the new semester as much as we do!

It’s been a while since our last event back in 2017, but we’re thrilled to announce that our IPDG seminar series are returning with an exciting line-up of events in the coming months.

To give you a sense of what’s coming up, here are the details of three confirmed talks taking place very soon (and we’re getting in touch with more speakers!):

The Interface Between Privacy and Trade:
The European Union Governance of Personal Data Flows and Digital Trade
Speaker: Dr Kristina Irion (IViR, University of Amsterdam)
Date: Friday 2 March 2018, 4.30PM
Venue: Room 1.01, David Hume Tower

Reconciling the Right to Privacy with Freedom of Expression
Speaker: Ms Anja Møller Pedersen (University of Copenhagen)
Date: Monday 16 April 2018, 4.30PM
Venue: Room LG.08, David Hume Tower

Global Online Copyright Infringement: Towards Uniform Standards of Liability
Speaker: Dr João Pedro Quintais (IViR, University of Amsterdam)
Date: Wednesday 16 May 2018, 4.30PM
Venue: Room 11.18, David Hume Tower
** PLEASE NOTE that there is a change of date/time from what was previously advertised.

We would also like to mention a SCRIPT guest seminar that might be of interest to you:

Is There a Right to Parody under Copyright Law?
Speaker: Dr Sabine Jacques (University of East Anglia)
Date: Monday 12 March 2018, 6.30-7.30PM
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower
Signup: https://script_dr_jaques_seminar.eventbrite.co.uk

You might also want to have a look at the Controversies in the Data Society seminar series organised by the Edinburgh Futures Institute. More details of the series can be found here.

If you would like to stay informed of any updates, please join us on our mailing list using this link: http://tinyurl.com/ip-it-media-law

We hope to see many of you at the talks!

All the best,
Your convenors

Surveillance and the Common Good – upcoming talk by Dr Eric Stoddart (St Andrews)

We are delighted to announce that our first event of the IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group seminar series this semester will take place on Monday 31 October at 2pm in Neil MacCormick Room (Room 9.01), David Hume TowerDr Eric Stoddart from University of St Andrews will present on the following topic:

Surveillance and the Common Good: Why Privacy Concerns Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Privacy concerns are important but whilst they address individuals’ rights they tend not to open up questions around the impact of surveillance upon groups in particular contexts. The Common Good offers a multi-dimensional critique of surveillance and has possibilities for promoting an optics of hope for surveillance that might contribute to human flourishing.
 
This paper explores synoptic surveillance (the many ‘us’ watching the few ‘them’). It places contemporary surveillance within the context of media (mis-)representations of already marginalised groups, e.g. welfare claimants, people who ‘look Muslim’, and immigrants.
 
The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.
 
 

A warm welcome to our new and returning students!

As the new academic year begins, we would like to extend our warmest welcome to all our new students joining us at Edinburgh Law School, as well as those who will continue their studies in the coming year.

We are delighted to announce that the IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group will go on to present a series of events this semester. We are still working on finalising the details, but here is a glimpse of what we are going to offer in the next couple of months:

  • Surveillance and the Common Good: Why Privacy Concerns Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
    Dr Eric Stoddart (St Andrews) – 31 Oct 2016 (2pm, Neil MacCormick Room (Room 9.01), David Hume Tower)
  • How Does Article 102 TFEU Regulate the IT Industries? The Microsoft Case, the Intel Case, and Recent Developments
    Dr Kuo-lien Hsieh(National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan) – 8 Nov 2016 (2pm, Room 1.203, 7 Bristo Square)
  • A Bridge Too Far? The Investigatory Powers Bill, Oversight and Human Rights
    Dr Nora Ni Loideain (Cambridge) – 11 Nov 2016 (5pm, Neil MacCormick Room (Room 9.01), David Hume Tower)
  • Understanding Cryptocurrencies as Political Devices
    Pablo Velasco (Warwick) – 14 Nov 2016 (2pm, Room 11.01, David Hume Tower)
  • The Logical Space of Algocracy: A Guide to the Territory
    Dr John Danaher (NUI Galway) – 25 Nov 2016 (4pm, Room 1.18, David Hume Tower)

All venues and times will be confirmed very soon. A handful of more speakers are also in touch and we will provide further updates once they are available. So stay tuned, and subscribe to our mailing list (if you haven’t):
http://tinyurl.com/ip-it-media-law

This year, our fellow PhDs Laurence Diver, Matthew Jewell and Wenlong Li have joined the team as co-convenors.

We hope to see many of you soon in our events!

Exploring the efficiency of blocking injunctions in online copyright enforcement

Coming close to the end of this semester, our next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group event will take place on Thursday 19 May 2016 at 2pm in Room B1.09, Outreach Centre (Holyrood Road). Bianca Hanuz from University of Liverpool will be presenting on the following topic:

Exploring the efficiency of blocking injunctions in online copyright enforcement

Internet service providers intermediaries are central to the enforcement system as they are considered the ‘gatekeepers’ of the internet, therefore considered to in the best position to manage the flooding copyright infringing traffic.[1] As such, the three directives[2] that govern the use copyright protected material online allow right holders to seek a remedy against the intermediary service provider where their service is used by third parties to infringe.[3] In the situation where it is impossible for right holders to identify the managers of infringing websites and it is unpopular to pursue individual infringers, right holders ask courts to order injunctions against online intermediaries which require the intermediaries to block user access to illegal sites. This method of copyright enforcement is now mainstream, which results from the fact that blocking orders are relatively easy to obtain as internet service providers (ISP) do not oppose applications and the blocking measures are relatively cheap to implement.[4]

Questions of efficiency arise as the injunction remedy provides only a post factum solution. Injunctions therefore do not address the root of the problem, which still remains after the block is put in place. This presentation will discuss the effectiveness of the injunctions in online copyright enforcement and present some solutions.

As always, this event is non-ticketed and everyone is welcome. The presentation will be followed by an informal discussion with refreshments provided.

 

Notes:
[1] Recital 59 Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights [2004] OJ L157/45
[2] ’Directive 2000/31 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market [2000] OJ L178/1; Directive 2001/29 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society [2001] OJ L167/10 (thereinafter InfoSoc Directive); Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights [2004] OJ L157/45
[3] art 8(3)
[4] Cartier International and Others vs BSkyB and others [2014] EWHC 3354 (Ch) at para 4, 239-253

Powerful platforms, liberty in cyber space and regulatory approach – Upcoming talk by Dr Orla Lynskey (LSE)

We are delighted to announce that the next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group event will take place on Monday 25 April at 2pm in Neil MacCormick RoomDr Orla Lynskey from London School of Economics will present her latest research on:

‘Platform Power’: A Regulatory Riddle

‘Some online platforms have evolved to become players competing in many sectors of the economy and the way they use their market power raises a number of issues that warrant further analysis beyond the application of competition law in specific cases’.
Increasing regulatory and doctrinal attention is focused on the problem of so-called ‘platform power’. Yet calls for regulation of online platforms fail to identify the precise problems such regulation would target, and as a result appear to lack merit. In this paper, two claims are advanced. First, that the concept of ‘platform power’ is an unhelpful starting point for this discussion and will stunt desirable debate on this issue. It is suggested that gatekeeper theory provides a preferable point of departure for this discussion. Secondly, it claims that the concerns attributed to ‘platform power’ are diffuse. Moreover, these issues will fall in the blind spots of the purely economic analysis increasingly favoured by competition law and regulatory analysis. The debate on ‘platform power’ should therefore not be captured by economic discourse. It should seek instead to identify and describe a distinct form of power evident in the digital sphere, not yet falling within existing legal and regulatory frameworks.
 
A full paper of this talk is also available. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our co-convenor Jiahong (j.chen@ed.ac.uk) for a copy.
 
The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome.

 

Legal Obstacles for Data Privacy Researchers – SCRIPT, CASCSP and EDSI joint event

On the 21 March., SCRIPT, in conjunction with CASCSP and the Edinburgh Data Science Initiative invites you to a talk and discussion:

“Legal obstacles for data privacy researchers”

Christoph Sorge, Juris Professor of Legal Informatics at the Universität des Saarlandes,
http://www.uni-saarland.de/en/lehrstuhl/sorge/team/christoph-sorge.html

Monday 21 March, Elder Room, Old College (South Side), 3-4PM

The event is free and open to all, but due to space limitations, early registration is recommended, please send an email to b.schafer@ed.ac.uk

 

 

Upcoming talk focusing on Algorithmic Surveillance

The next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group event will take place on Thursday 24 March at 2pm in Room B.L03, Old College. Dr Maria Helen Murphy from Maynooth University will give a talk on the following topic:

Algorithmic Surveillance: The Collection Conundrum

A concern with the use of algorithmic surveillance in the investigation of terrorism is the potential for ‘false positives’. Due to the relative rarity of terrorist attacks, pattern searching for terrorist activity is liable to error.[1]  In a climate of heightened fear, false positives can have tremendously negative effects on the targeted individuals and can constitute a significant waste of resources. This may lead us to the troubling conclusion that better data equals more data. Or as famously put by a former Director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, ‘you need the haystack to find the needle’.[2]
Increased processing power and more finely-tuned algorithms are often portrayed as the solution to the haystack conundrum. While a human may struggle with an overflowing haystack, powerful computers can take a logical and structured approach that will make the haystack eminently more searchable. The many risks of algorithmic profiling have been discussed extensively elsewhere. In her paper, Dr Murphy confronts the problem of initial collection and addresses the contention that well-defined algorithmic search can effectively limit the intrusiveness of surveillance. Evolution in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union will be factored into this analysis.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome.

 

Notes:
[1] Bruce Schneier, Data and Goliath (WW Norton & Company, 2015) 135-136.
[2] Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani , ‘NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally’ Washington Post (14 October 2013) <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-collects-millions-of-e-mail-address-books-globally/2013/10/14/8e58b5be-34f9-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html>.