Talk and discussion about net neutrality

On Monday 12 October at 2pm in the Neil MacCormick Room (Old College), Evgenia Kanellopoulou, Law Lecturer at the University of Salford (and PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh), will present on the following topic:

‘Reasonable network management, the new old net neutrality’

Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the issue of net neutrality from a European perspective, following recent developments in the United States and proposed changes on a European level.

In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has signalled an era of regulatory interference deemed necessary to preserve an open Internet. The recent decision of the FCC to classify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service and to bring it under its regulatory auspices has put a temporary end to a period of free market activity. In contrast, the debate about net neutrality in Europe has been much less heated and of limited political importance, exactly because of the absence of similar market failures. Arguably, the “anarchy” of the European telecoms markets has served to provide effective protection for an open Internet. The importance of EU competition policy as regards the Internet and the telecommunications markets in general, has been acknowledged in literature. However, the Council Proposal for a new Regulation to harmonise rules on safeguarding access to the open Internet published on 8 July 2015 requires further consideration. Starting with what appears to be a declaration of “respect” for the principle of net neutrality, the proposal proceeds to lay down exceptions or departures from this starting point.

The lack of consensus on whether to provide a universal definition for net neutrality mirrors the series of debates over the regulation of the internet itself, and the debate over multiple stakeholder engagement. Given the different directions the US and the European stated are headed, it seems that the emerging definition for net neutrality will stem from its reasonable network management exceptions that will acquire a different meaning over the two sides of the Atlantic. Are we entering an era where net neutrality is defined by its limitations, and what will this mean for the open internet as envisioned in the US and in Europe?

The talk will be followed by a discussion and an informal wine reception! All students and staff welcome!

Welcome back!

The members of the IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group are glad to announce that we will have some great speakers and interesting topics in the upcoming semester, including former convenor Evgenia Kanellopoulou (University of Salford), Meryem Horasan (Strathclyde) and Professor Burkhard Schafer (Edinburgh). More details about these events will follow soon.

This year, Jesus Manuel Niebla Zatarain and Jiahong Chen joined as co-convenors of the group.

We hope to see many of you at our discussions!

‘Essential Function’ Doctrine to Combat Infringement via 3D Printing: Any good?

On Friday 17 April at 4pm in Room B 57 (Old College) Dr Jamil Ammar, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, presented on the following topic:

‘Essential Function’ Doctrine to Combat Infringement via 3D Printing: Any good?

Abstract: The capability of the ‘average’ consumer to 3D print a range of branded goods  from the comfort of his/her own home does not mesh well with the current regulatory system of trade mark law where the use of the trade mark in relation to goods or services must be under the control of a single undertaking which must be responsible for their quality. While many commentators have questioned the implications of 3D technology on patent and copyright laws, rather few scholars have attempted to address the impact of that technology from a trade mark functions perspective.

This paper suggests that there are significant limitations to the protection that trade mark law can offer rights owners in the developing field of 3D printing. The requirement that the sign be used ‘in the course of trade’ for an infringement to arise is of particular importance in that 3D printing may be on a substantial scale and at the same time primarily for private purposes. For this reason trade mark holders may well wish to pursue the providers of CAD files. But CAD files do not directly replicate the physical products protected by the mark, and protection may, at most, be available in relation to marks with a reputation. Despite these significant concerns, this paper concludes that the Court of Justice’s flexible reading of the trade mark functions seems to place the law in a position to sufficiently tackle 3D infringement challenges.

Thanks to everyone who attended the event, great talk and discussions!

Investigating the prod-user relationship in unauthorised fan creativity

On Friday 20 March at 4.15pm in Room B 57 (Old College) Dr Krisofer Erickson, Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, is presenting on the following topic:

Investigating the prod-user relationship in unauthorised fan creativity:
formal legal structures, informal community norms

Abstract: This talk reports on the results of a pilot study of production practices among fan communities engaged in unauthorised adaptation of commercial video game properties (‘fangames’). In addition to characterisation of production techniques, motivations and rationales, the study records legal status and outcomes of disputes emerging between fans and rightsholders for the 350 fan-made games contained in the sample.  The paper discusses the implications of these preliminary findings for theorists of bottom-up creativity and fandom, arguing that a more empirically-grounded approach to fan studies would offer insight on the precise role of fan production in the creative economy, an issue of concern to economists and policymakers.  The paper concludes by describing improvements that can be made to the computer-assisted content analysis approach used in the pilot study, and suggests expanding the study to capture a representative sample of fan production and legal outcomes by using a sampling frame of known commercial reference properties.  The methodology described could be adapted to neighbouring fan practices in literary fiction, TV and film.

The talk will be followed by a discussion and some refreshments. All staff, PhD and postgraduate students are welcome.

The history of the protection of Geographical Indications

On Friday 20 February at 4.15pm in the Kenyon Mason Suite (Old College) Andrea Zappalaglio, DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford, is presenting on the following topic:

The history of the protection of Geographical Indications.
Where have we been, where are we going?

Abstract: The history of the protection of Geographical Indications is probably the best way to understand them, their rationale and their potential. The principles underlying the “classical” GI rules, descending from the French reforms in early 20th century, are not so different from the justificatory arguments that are put forward today in the EU frame. Can these old principles applied to the present context tell us something more about what GI are and where they could go? Can they contribute to the protection of environment, cultural heritage, traditional knowledge?

The talk will be followed by a discussion and some refreshments. All staff, PhD and postgraduate students are welcome.

UPDATE: photos

IMG_3913 IMG_3931 IMG_3946

 

 

‘Emails, property, law and death: where are we?’

On Friday 30 January at 4.15pm in the Kenyon Mason Suite (Old College) Edina Harbinja, Law Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, is presenting on the following topic:

‘Emails, property, law and death: where are we?’

This talk will examine issues surrounding transmission of emails on death. In order to be able to address these issues, the speaker will explore whether emails can be considered property of a user, or copyright/contracts law provides a better framework for defining the legal nature of emails. In addition, the issue of post-mortem privacy will be addressed, in so far as it affects the status of emails of deceased users. In conclusion, a combined “code”/law framework is proposed as the most appropriate solution for transmission of emails content on death.

The talk will be followed by a discussion and an informal wine reception! All welcome!

UPDATE: photos

IMG_0001 IMG_0010 IMG_0014

‘Copyright, freedom of expression and the search for the public interest’

On Friday 16 January at 4.15pm in the Kenyon Mason Suite (Old College) Dr Daithi Mac Sithigh, Reader in Law at Newcastle University, is presenting on the following topic:

‘Copyright, freedom of expression and the search for the public interest’

Abstract“How does copyright law accommodate freedom of expression? I will address this issue, and raise further questions about the impact of evolving copyright-related business models on this fundamental right.  This inquiry is necessary because of the diverse pressures on established copyright law (leading to, for instance, new approaches to enforcement, or the recasting of exceptions), and the increased significance of merely using a work (accessing, reading, etc) as an act governed by intellectual property. Doctrinally, it is only in recent years that significant attention has been paid by scholars of each field to the other; efforts at intergovernmental level have been, to date, inconclusive. This research was carried out as part of CREATe, the Research Councils UK-funded centre for copyright and new business models in the creative industries.”

The talk will be followed by an informal discussion and some refreshments. All staff, PhD and postgraduate students are welcome.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the IPDG to all members and visitors!

We are pleased to announce that in the upcoming semester we will have several visiting speakers at our discussion group! For more information about the interesting topics to be covered check out our forthcoming events page!

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meetings in 2015!

Presentation on the private copying exception – Friday 21 November 2014

On Friday 21 November at 4.30pm in the Kenyon Mason Suite (Old College) Nevena Kostova, PhD Candidate at Edinburgh Law School, is presenting on the following topic:

‘Is copyright law fitter for the digital age after the introduction of the private copying exception?
A consideration of whether the right of reproduction can remain at the heart of copyright in contemporary society’ 

The presentation and open discussion will be followed by an informal wine reception.