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

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.