• “Science Fiction & Information Law” Essay Competition

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  • Summer Course on Privacy Law and Policy

    1-5 July 2019

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  • Summer Course on International Copyright Law

    1-5 July 2019

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Privatised enforcement and the right to freedom of expression in a world confronted with terrorism propaganda online

Coche, E.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the risks of privatised enforcement in the field of terrorism propaganda, stemming from the EU Code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online. By shedding light on this Code, the author argues that implementation of it may undermine the rule of law and give rise to private censorship. In order to outweigh these risks, IT companies should improve their transparency, especially towards users whose content have been affected. Where automated means are used, the companies should always have in place some form of human intervention in order to contextualise posts. At the EU level, the Commission should provide IT companies with clearer guidelines regarding their liability exemption under the e-Commerce Directive. This would help prevent a race-to-the bottom where intermediaries choose to interpret and apply the most stringent national laws in order to secure at utmost their liability. The paper further articulates on the fine line that exists between ‘terrorist content’ and ‘illegal hate speech’ and the need for more detailed definitions.


Media Constrained by Context: International Assistance and the Transition to Democratic Media in the Western Balkans

Irion, K.

Jusić, T.

This book compares the results of twenty years of international media assistance in the five countries of the western Balkans. It asks what happens to imported models when they are applied to newly evolving media systems in societies in transition. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia undertook a range of media reforms to conform with accession requirements of the European Union and the standards of the Council of Europe, among others. The essays explore the nexus between the democratic transformation of the media and international media assistance in these countries. The cross-national analysis concludes that the effects of international assistance are highly constrained by local contexts. In hindsight it becomes clear that escalating media assistance does not necessarily improve outcomes.


The right to protection of personal data: the new posterchild of European Union citizenship?

Granger, M.-P.

Irion, K.

In this chapter we argue that the right to data protection is the posterchild of EU citizenship in the digital era. We start by providing a brief overview of the gradual construction of the right to personal data protection in the EU. We then identify a range of actors who have played a particular role in the building process, including EU citizens themselves. Next, we review the current legal ‘architecture’ of the right to the protection of personal data and discuss whether it could serve as a model for the future development of EU citizenship, notwithstanding remaining challenges at the level of national implementation and public and private compliance with EU rules. Finally, we reflect on the future of the right to data protection, and its contribution to the development of EU citizenship as a legal regime.


Stedelijk is nog altijd beschadigd

Dommering, E.

Opinie in Het Parool, 23 oktober 2018.


The WIPO Broadcasting Treaty. A Conceptual Conundrum

Hugenholtz, P.

Keynote at KEI Seminar, Appraising the WIPO Broadcast Treaty and its Implications on Access to Culture, Geneva 3-4 October 2018


Media reporting: facts, nothing but facts?

Alén-Savikko, A.

Apa, E.

Bassini, M.

Cabrera Blázquez, F.J.

Cunningham, I.

Etteldorf, C.

Fahy, R.

Granchet, A.

Klimkiewicz, B.

Polák, J.

Prosser, T.

Richter, A.

Rodriguez, N.

IRIS Special, European Audiovisual Observatory: Strasbourg, 2018, 150 pp.

Separating the facts from the fiction in today’s media is becoming mission impossible. In the era of the #fakenews hashtag, the internet, and the media in general, are concerned by the emergence of fiction which is sometimes much stranger than truth! So what rules and initiatives exist in Europe to help ensure the accuracy and objectivity of news and current affairs reporting? How far can the European and the various national legislators go to protect us from dubious reporting or at least ensure that codes of good conduct exist?


My Friends, Editors, Algorithms, and I: Examining audience attitudes to news selection

Helberger, N.

Möller, J.

Thurman, N.

Trilling, D.

Prompted by the ongoing development of content personalization by social networks and mainstream news brands, and recent debates about balancing algorithmic and editorial selection, this study explores what audiences think about news selection mechanisms and why. Analysing data from a 26-country survey (N = 53,314), we report the extent to which audiences believe story selection by editors and story selection by algorithms are good ways to get news online and, using multi-level models, explore the relationships that exist between individuals’ characteristics and those beliefs. The results show that, collectively, audiences believe algorithmic selection guided by a user’s past consumption behaviour is a better way to get news than editorial curation. There are, however, significant variations in these beliefs at the individual level. Age, trust in news, concerns about privacy, mobile news access, paying for news, and six other variables had effects. Our results are partly in line with current general theory on algorithmic appreciation, but diverge in our findings on the relative appreciation of algorithms and experts, and in how the appreciation of algorithms can differ according to the data that drive them. We believe this divergence is partly due to our study’s focus on news, showing algorithmic appreciation has context-specific characteristics.


Dream of Californication: welcome to the Californian Consumer Privacy Act

Irion, K.

Williams, J.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), slated to enter into force on 1 January 2020, borrows some cutting edge ideas from the EU and others’ privacy regimes while also experimenting with new approaches to data privacy. Importantly, the CCPA envisages an online advertisement market in which business are prevented from “getting high on information,” 1 breaches are promptly notified, and consumers are autonomous participants with the ability to sell their data at will. Where the CCPA breaks new ground is in protecting consumers from retaliation for opting out of the sale of their data. Thus, if it lives up to its potential, the CCPA could catalyse a permanent restructuring of the online data mining business. Our contribution will shed light on the new CCPA and offer some observations in comparing it with EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Automated Decision-Making Fairness in an AI-driven World: Public Perceptions, Hopes and Concerns

Araujo, T.

Bol, N.

Helberger, N.

Kruikemeier, S.

Oberski, D.

Pechenizkiy, M.

Schaap, G.

Taylor, L.

Vreese, C.H. de

Weert, J. van,

Ongoing advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly part of scientific efforts as well as the public debate and the media agenda, raising hopes and concerns about the impact of automated decision making across different sectors of our society. This topic is receiving increasing attention at both national and cross- national levels. The present report contributes to informing this public debate, providing the results of a survey with 958 participants recruited from high-quality sample of the Dutch population. It provides an overview of public knowledge, perceptions, hopes and concerns about the adoption of AI and ADM across different societal sectors in the Netherlands. This report is part of a research collaboration between the Universities of Amsterdam, Tilburg, Radboud, Utrecht and Eindhoven (TU/e) on automated decision making, and forms input to the groups’ research on fairness in automated decision making.


Naar echt onafhankelijk toezicht

van Eijk, N.



Protecting traditional cultural expressions – copyright tensions and human rights opportunities?

Breemen, J.

Chapter in: Critical Indigenous Rights Studies, G. Corradi, K. de Feyter, E. Desmet, K. Vanhees (eds.), Routlegde, 2018.

The protection of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) is not a straightforward issue. At first sight, characteristics of TCEs and their protection suggest similarity to copyright works. However, TCE protection should not be viewed as simply an (isolated) intellectual property issue. Rather, the protection of TCEs is part of a broader (political) context and struggle for rights. The chapter focuses on showing the complexity of the interrelation between copyright and indigenous peoples’ rights. It argues that a cultural and indigenous rights perspective could help address tensions deriving from differing worldviews, the application of dominant, existing legal frameworks and diverging understandings of protecting creativity and works of culture.


Blockchain and smart contracts: the missing link in copyright licensing?

Bodó, B.

Gervais, D.J.

Quintais, J.

This article offers a normative analysis of key blockchain technology concepts from the perspective of copyright law. Some features of blockchain technologies—scarcity, trust, transparency, decentralized public records and smart contracts—seem to make this technology compatible with the fundamentals of copyright. Authors can publish works on blockchain creating a quasi-immutable record of initial ownership, and encode ‘smart’ contracts to license the use of works. Remuneration may happen on online distribution platforms where the smart contracts reside. In theory, such an automated setup allows for the private ordering of copyright. Blockchain technology, like Digital Rights Management 20 years ago, is thus presented as an opportunity to reduce market friction, and increase both licensing efficiency and the autonomy of creators. Yet, some of the old problems remain. The article examines the differences between new, smart-contract-based private ordering regime and the fundamental components of copyright law, such as exceptions and limitations, the doctrine of exhaustion, restrictions on formalities, the public domain and fair remuneration.


The European Union General Data Protection Regulation: What It Is And What It Means

Hoofnagle, C.J.

van der Sloot, B.

Zuiderveen Borgesius, F.

This article introduces U.S. lawyers and academics to the normative foundations, attributes, and strategic approach to regulating personal data advanced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). We explain the genesis of the GDPR, which is best understood as an extension and refinement of existing requirements imposed by the 1995 Data Protection Directive; describe the GDPR’s approach and provisions; and make predictions about the GDPR’s short and medium-term implications. The GDPR is the most consequential regulatory development in information policy in a generation. The GDPR brings personal data into a detailed and protective regulatory regime, which will influence personal data usage worldwide. Understood properly, the GDPR encourages firms to develop information governance frameworks, to in-house data use, and to keep humans in the loop in decision making. Companies with direct relationships with consumers have strategic advantages under the GDPR, compared to third party advertising firms on the internet. To reach these objectives, the GDPR uses big sticks, structural elements that make proving violations easier, but only a few carrots. The GDPR will complicate and restrain some information-intensive business models. But the GDPR will also enable approaches previously impossible under less-protective approaches.


De sluipende unificatie van het auteursrecht in Europa

Hugenholtz, P.

Nu de harmonisatie van de auteursrechtwetgeving in Europa bijna is afgerond, wint het idee van daadwerkelijke eenmaking van het auteursrecht in de Europese Unie terrein. In een mededeling over het EU-auteursrechtbeleid heeft de Europese Commissie de invoering van een unitair auteursrecht, dat voor de nationale auteurswetten van de lidstaten in de plaats zou moeten komen, als ‘langetermijnvisie’ vastgelegd. Desalniettemin lijkt formele unificatie in de vorm van een Auteursrechtverordening nog ver weg. Ondertussen maken de Europese wetgever en het Hof van Justitie stap voor stap een einde aan de territorialiteit van het auteursrecht, waardoor een eengemaakt Europees auteursrecht langzaam maar gestaag toch dichterbij komt. In dit artikel wordt dit proces van sluipende unificatie van het auteursrecht geschetst.


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