IDP2016 (II). Digital Single Market and e-Commerce

Notes from the 12th Internet, Law and Politics Congress: Building a European digital space, organized by the Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 7-8 July 2016. More notes on this event: idp2016.

Communications on Digital Single Market and e-Commerce
Chairs: Blanca Torrubia

The role of geoblocking in the internet legal landscape.
Marketa Trimble, Samuel S. Lionel Professor of Intellectual Property Law at William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Geoblocking: blocking depending on place and depending on content.

Geoblocking breaks the ubiquity of the Internet and users’ expectations of a territorially-unlimited Internet. On the other hand, geoblocking is a way to try to accommodate Internet content to the territorial restraint of national jurisdiction.

Opposition to geoblocking:

  • Contrary to the original architecture of the internet.
  • It’s imperfect, leaving lots of room for spillovers.
  • Has uncertain legality.
  • Is associated with not insignifiat implementation costs.
  • May have an impact on freee speech.

The EU proposes a campaign against geoblocking, though proposing a new regulation to address geoblocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality.

Some positive ends of geoblocking:

  • Contributes to the diversity of content on the Internet.
  • Geoblocking allows for content to be made available where it is legal.
  • A territorial partitioning of the Internet is inevitable as long as countries have strong national public policies that shape at least some of their laws.
  • Online gambling and other sensitive areas of regulation will provoke countries’ strong policy stances, for which geoblocking on the Internet offers a workable modus operandi.

Hardwiring Privacy in the European Digital Space.
Lee Bygrave, Professor, Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law.

Information systems architecture has the ability to shape behaviour beyond what legislation allows.

There are explicit attempts to change system architectures to force changes in law or to put in practice de facto “regulations”, especially in the field of data protection and privacy.

Some of these hardwiring attempts to change regulation may have an impact in homeland security, on privacy guarantees, etc.

The exclusive right of the author to control publicity and sale offers of their work. Impact in the building of a single digital space.
Antoni Rubí Puig, Profesor de Derecho Civil de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Can we buy in third countries’ websites goods that are subject to intellectual property rights that apply in our country but not in the third country? Can we do that without incurring in an IP illegality? Probably not. The right to distribute works is exclusive of the author’s.

There are several points in the whole process of publishing, offering, selling and delivering goods where the author has their say according to their intellectual property rights.

The proposals of the European Commission about contract rules in the supply of digital content and online sales: conformity, remedies and exercise of remedies
Rosa Milà Rafel, Investigadora Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Centro de Estudios de Consumo.

Proposal of EU directive of online sales. Goal: to eliminate one of the main barriers against international e-commerce in Europe.

Problem: if it is approved, it will indeed increase the fragmentation of actual regulation.

Proposal of EU directive of supply of digital content.

It includes a wide range of digital content, such as cloud computing services and social networking services.

Unlike the former one, this directive is likely to reduce fragmentation of existing regulation.


12th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2016)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “IDP2016 (II). Digital Single Market and e-Commerce” In ICTlogy, #154, July 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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