Blog: Information Society Policy @ UEA Blog: Information Society Policy @ UEA

When A Beer Might Just Be The Answer To Your Broadcast Based Woes*

By Jennifer Young, UEA Law School

Part Three of our new series on issues related to Covid-19

By April 9th 2020, half of UK adults had already been exposed to false claims about coronavirus. The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the UK’s ‘super regulator’, which oversees the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries, has reacted quickly to dispel misinformation around the Covid 19 pandemic. It has commissioned a weekly online survey of around 2,000 people to...

Covid-19: A Contagion Risk For Right To Information Laws?

By Dr Karen McCullagh, UEA Law School

Part Two of our new series on issues related to Covid-19

In recent months, governments around the world have sought to manage and mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic upon public health - it has a propensity to overwhelm health service provision – and to limit the impact of the pandemic on the economy in their countries. As it is a novel virus, about which little is known, a uniform response strategy has not yet...

Criminal Justice and Transparency During Lockdown

By Suzanne Dixon, UEA Law School

Part One of our new series on issues related to Covid-19

It’s a strange time to be working on a dissertation about the effect of court reporting restrictions in criminal court trials. My first week of data collection started on Monday 17th February. There were on average 1543 indictments a day listed for hearing in the UK crown courts, of which about 380 were listed for trial. Roughly 4% of these were subject to court reporting...

Are Vertical Restrictions On The Use Of Trademarks In Online Search Advertising Always Anticompetitive?

Some Thoughts On The European Commission's Guess Decision

By Elias Deutscher, UEA Law School

Can the owner of a well-known brand lawfully prevent its independent retailers from using its trademarks and brands to advertise their products on Google? This question has major implications, in particular, for small- and medium-size retailers who largely benefit from the reduced costs of online search advertising and the new sales channels offered by online distribution....

IntangAbility: Using Gamification in IP Law Education to Foster Student Collaboration, Motivation and Engagement

By Dr. Sabine Jacques, UEA Law School

As IP educators, we try to find ways to keep students engaged and meet their learning expectations. In a world where students are used to fast-paced technologies and entertainment, available at the push of a button, this may prove to be challenging. Arguably, today’s students are multi-taskers, tend to prefer collaborative environments (compared to didactic teaching) and rely on teachers as facilitators (to navigate the endless sources of...

Gary Glitter Will Not Make A Profit From The Use Of His Song In The Film Joker – Here’s Why

By Dr. Sabine Jacques, UEA Law School

In a pivotal scene in the new Todd Phillips psychological film Joker, Joacquin Phoenix, playing the Joker, is seen dancing down a concrete staircase to tune of Rock and Roll Part II. The song was famously co-written by convicted paedophile Gary Glitter.

The choice of this particular song in association with the rebirth of Arthur into the Joker has sparked anger among the wider public. Glitter (aka Paul Gadd) is a disgraced English...

Adidas: The Brand Without the 3 Stripes?

By Dr Nick Scharf, University of East Anglia

Adidas stuff is cool, it just is. I grew up in pair after pair of adidas trainers, one of my best mates wears nothing but Sambas (that’s the coolest thing about him), they reinvented the football boot with the iconic Predator, there was Run-DMC (say no more), they had tie-ins with Star Wars and created the coolest TV advert of all time. Oh, and David Beckham too. Not sure about Kanye though. 

But the 3 stripes being cool isn’t...

Protecting Europe’s content production from US giants

By Felix Hempel, University of East Anglia, Dr Sally Broughton Micova, University of East Anglia, and Dr. Sabine Jacques, University of East Anglia

This blog post examines the changes to both the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the Copyright Directive, through which EU policymakers have sought to protect European content producers, mainly in the face of competition from US-based platforms. Both Directives address the challenges for broadcasters and press publishers...

Automated Anti-Piracy Systems: A Call for Further Evidence-Based Policies

By Dr Sabine Jacques, University of East Anglia and Dr. Krzysztof Garstka, University of Cambridge

The European Parliament has just approved the new text of the copyright directive, which will now go to the Council for a final vote on April 15th, 2019. This legislation not only modi-fies the copyright framework as set out in the Information Society Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC) but it will also modify the liability regime as enshrined in the E-Commerce Di-rective (Directive...

Impartiality and the BBC

By Dr Paul Bernal, University of East Anglia 

The issue of BBC and impartiality seems never far from the surface these days – and during the highly charged Brexit process it seems to have erupted more and more. So much so that Ofcom, who have been the BBC’s regulator since it took the role from the BBC Trust in 2017, are now undertaking a review.

This review is very much to be welcomed – but it needs to be understood too. This is not happening, as some seem...

The EU is Trying to Protect Your Memes – but It’s a Battle Against Humourless Algorithms

By Dr. Sabine Jacques, University of East Anglia

The European parliament will vote at the end of March 2019 on a proposal to reform EU copyright law. Under this proposal, online platforms arguably have to introduce technological filters to tackle copyright infringements. This will be of particular interest to people who make satirical memes or parodies based on online content such as art or films, much of which is subject to copyright protection.

Things That Annoy Me, Including Article 13

By Dr Nick Scharf, University of East Anglia 

High levels of copyright protection are nothing new and European copyright legislation has traditionally made reference to this if you bother to read the recitals of the InfoSoc Directive (e.g. recitals 4 & 9).  That’s pretty much turned out to be the case; nowadays the content industries seem to have every power at their disposal…  ISPs bear responsibility for copyright infringement, injunctions have been readily granted, live...

Human Rights in the Media: Fear and Fetish

By Professor David Mead, University of East Anglia

“They Offer You a Feature on Stockings and Suspenders Next to a Call for Stiffer Penalties for Sex Offenders”: Do We Learn More About the Media Than about Human Rights from Tabloid Coverage of Human Rights Stories?
Last month, in responding to a letter from the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee about references to the ECHR in the Political Declaration, the Government failed to give assurances that it will not repeal or...

Understanding the Social in a Digital Age: Conference Report

Understanding the Social in a Digital Age: Conference Report

By Ruth Flaherty, University of East Anglia

I have the honour of writing the first ISP @ UEA blog post of 2019 to tell you about a conference I was invited to speak at on Tuesday 8th January at the Julian Study Centre on UEA Campus.  It was co-hosted by the Dr Harry T Dyer from the School of Education here at the UEA, and Dr Zoetanya Sujon, from the UAL London College of Communication. Attracting many leading...

The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth

The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth

by Paul Bernal, Senior Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law, University of East Anglia

The Internet is a mess. We all know that. Plagued by trolls, full of fake news, under constant surveillance by governments and politically manipulated by all kinds of malevolent forces – as well as being in the hands of unaccountable, tax-avoiding, opaque corporations making billions...

The Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration: Implications for Data Protection

The Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration: Implications for Data Protection

By Dr Karen McCullagh, Lecturer in Law, University of East Anglia 

This blog post discusses the data protection measures in the Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and accompanying Political Declaration on the Future relationship.  Although the texts are subject to approval by the UK Parliament and EU member states (which is far from certain to be forthcoming,...

Capturing the key moment in time: completing a PhD on photography and law “Controlling the Shutter: Control, Consent and Context in a Digital World”

Capturing the key moment in time: completing a PhD on photography and law (“Controlling the Shutter: Control, Consent and Context in a Digital World”)

By Holly Hancock

You’ll often hear it said – “I need a photograph of that”.  For many, photography has been synonymous with existentialism, or proving something happened, perhaps for humour, entertainment or just simply documentation.  But the desire, or need to both take and share photographs has...

Do Market Structures Matter in the Creative Industries?

Do market structures matter in the creative industries?

by Professor Morten Hviid, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia

The supply chain from creator to consumer goes through several vertical levels of intermediaries including agents, publishers, wholesalers and retailers. In each level, where the market is characterised by the presence of a small number of powerful actors, we would expect that these...

The Age of Stream: Conference Report

The Age of Stream: Conference Report By Dr Nick Scharf So back in July, I organised a thing…  My workshop about copyright and music streaming, cleverly titled: ‘The Age of Stream: Exploring the Production and Dissemination of Music in the Streaming-Based Landscape.’ Firstly, apologies dear reader for the length of time it has taken me to blog about it.  There are two very good reasons for this; firstly, I had to go (back) to Germany shortly afterwards and...

Articles 11 and 13 - Bad News for Some, or All of Us?

By Ruth Flaherty

On the 12th of September, the updated wording for the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was approved by the European Parliament. This follows the vote rejecting the Parliament’s mandate on the 5th July, sending the Proposed Copyright Directive back to the drafting stage. Two measures within the proposal have attracted the most attention: the misleadingly-titled ‘link tax’ in Article 11, which passed with 58% of the vote, and the...

The UK Data Protection Act 2018

By Dr Karen Mc Cullagh

With the UK on course to leave the European Union (on 29th March 2019, unless a later withdrawal date is agreed during trade negotiations) yet the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) scheduled to have direct effect in all member states beforehand i.e. from 25 May 2018, the UK Government introduced a data protection bill into Parliament, on 13th September 2017 to implement derogations in the GDPR into national law during the pre-withdrawal period and...

Reasonability and the Public Interest

By Tom Wright

Defamation cases frequently call upon the courts to strike a balance between a defendant’s Article 10 right to freedom of expression and the claimant’s right to reputation, protected by Article 8 of the convention. This is most keenly felt in cases concerning matters of public interest.  Last month the Court of Appeal heard an appeal from the claimant in a bitter libel battle originating from the most tragic of circumstances. This case focussed on two important...

Anonymity and the Undercover Policing Inquiry

By Dr Joe Purshouse

Last month, in extraordinary scenes, around 60 “core participants” (predominantly the subjects of mismanaged and egregiously intrusive undercover policing operations) walked out of the Royal Courts of Justice in protest. They were exasperated by the dawdling progress of the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

This Inquiry is focusing on some of the most offensive abuses of police power this country has ever seen. So far, activists and journalists have shown...

Norwich is the centre of the IP Universe…

By Dr Nick Scharf

Norwich is the centre of the IP universe (which is handy given we have an LLM in IT & IP Law here).  The number of IP-related stuff that has happened here is simply disproportionate to any other Fine CityTM(?) in the country (note to reviewer: no quantitative data was harmed in the drafting of that statement). Allow me to explain…

Upload filters for online platforms: a toll on cultural diversity?

By Dr Sabine Jacques

Without a doubt, one of the most controversial parts of the European Commission’s copyright reform package, article 13 and the accompanying recitals 38, 39 caused much ink to flow. At the centre of this controversy lies a new obligation for ‘online content sharing services providers’ to introduce ‘appropriate and proportionate technological measures’ and to increase transparency towards right-holders. However, such obligation is likely to have an impact on...

Bat People on the Moon? Fake News!

By Jennifer Young

“It could not be foreseen that a time would come when a partisan press would seek to mislead the people…when whole columns of fake news would be published, that whole columns of sensational stuff would be printed and read.”

This expression of disbelief that the press could carry fake news was written in The Davenport Daily Republican in 1896. Or was it? Maybe I have made it up. How do you tell? Do you look at the blog and note that it is managed by the...

The ‘German online hate speech law’ and the misunderstandings surrounding it – What does it really change and what impact has it had?

By Felix Hempel

Online hate speech, including illegal content and terrorist propaganda, continues to spread across the EU territory. Whilst some major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google have agreed to police their sites voluntarily, others do not and, as such, are becoming the go-to place for expressing online hate speech. Thus, some member states have decided to introduce new obligations for online platforms to combat hate speech in national law without obtaining...

Free speech, safe spaces and hypocrisy

By Dr Paul Bernal

The unedifying ‘scuffle’ at Jacob Rees-Mogg’s appearance at the University of the West of England has provoked a great deal of reaction – some of it distinctly over-the-top. Precisely what happened, who started the fight and why, remains a little unclear – and is not the topic of this post. It is Theresa May’s reaction, to suggest a new law to protect MPs against intimidation, that is more interesting for those of us who are interested in freedom of...

Portability of online content services: expectation vs reality

By Dr Sabine Jacques

Constituting the first legal proposal of the Digital Single Market Strategy, the new Regulation 2017/1128 aims at broadening access to lawful online content for consumers temporarily present in another member state. In essence, when a Belgian IP lecturer subscribed to Netflix UK travels back to Belgium to visit her family and friends, she will be able to watch the same series and films available in the UK. The Regulation will be applicable in all EU member...

How underhanded was John Lewis’ use of a big blue monster that lives under the bed? Creativity and Copyright

By Ruth Flaherty

As anyone who watches television at this time of year will know, many larger brands, like Coca-Cola, create themed adverts usually focussing on family themes and comforting, heart-warming stories. For example, many of us still remember last year’s John Lewis advert relying on an enchanting tale about ‘Buster the Boxer’ and his excitement about a young girl's new trampoline. 

This post focusses on John Lewis’ 2017 Christmas offering. They have again...

The right of reply as the guarantor for the pluralism of information

By Felix Hempel

Three weeks ago, the European Court of Human Right’s (ECtHR) held that the compulsion for a publisher to print a reply to an editorial he had written and published in his newspaper did not violate fundamental rights. In its ruling, the court had to decide whether the lack of a public hearing during the domestic proceedings led to an unfair trial and if the right of reply’s interference with the publisher’s freedom of expression was proportionate.