IDP2013 (I): Intellectual Property

Notes from the 9th Internet, Law and Politics Congress: Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities, organized by the Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 25-26 June 2013. More notes on this event: idp2013.

Moderator: Miquel Peguera. Lecturer, School of Law and Political Science (UOC).

The Exceptions’ Sun Also Rises: When Fair Use Is the Solution.
Pedro Letai. Professor of IE Law School

There is a need to restore the legitimacy of copyright. But, of course, re-balancing its role before other rights. And we have to go back to the origins of copyright: incentivating creation.

These incentives have limits and exceptions: private copying, incidental use, academic use, quotation, parody, etc. But these limits should not be harming the legitimate activities of rights holders.

The problem is that users (user generated content), search engines, etc. are doing cutting edge uses that are not appropriately contemplated by the Law.

So, the norm should be a little bit more open so not to harm neither the creation of authors nor the creation by non-professionals, the diffusion of the creation of the former or just emerging industries based in digital content.

3d Printing, the Internet and Patent Law – A History Repeating?
Marc Mimler. Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London

3D printing was initially thought for rapid prototyping. 3D would normally begin with a designer drawing the blueprints of the object to be printed, but scanners have evolved enough to be able to scan 3D objects, map them and then be able to replicate them on 3D printers.

Some advantages: reversing offshoring low-cost labour economic activities, reducing the environmental impact by reducing transportation of goods, empowerment for the end user that can now print their own designs, etc.

On the other side, 3D printing can imply direct patent infringement (creating replicas and counterfeit). But also indirect patent infringement, as virtually anyone can create those replicas.

There are some differences though: how the invention is put into effect, how the patented product is produced (as sometimes the process is part of the patent, or sometimes it is just the process what is the object of the patent), etc.

3D printing means that is not only copyright that has to be rethought in a new digital realm, but also patent law.

Intellectual Privacy: A Fortress for the Individual User?
Irina Baraliuc.Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), doctoral researcher

There is a public debate on fundamental rights in the digital context, which has ensued a judicial activity on the balancing of fundamental rights.

Julie E. Cohen defines intellectual privacy as the breathing space of intellectual activity: informational privacy, spacial privacy. Neil M. Richards speaks of ability do develop ideas without any interference: freedom of thought and believe, spatial privacy, freedom of intellectual exploration, confidentiality.

These concepts are very related with privacy, data protection, freedom of thought, freedom of expression… and copyright.

Concerning privacy and data protection, there are some points to be made: how the lack of copyright in the private space can affect creationor intellectual privacy; how DRM can affect it too, etc.

Surveillance can affect freedom of thought and thus creation, intellectual activity and intellectual privacy.

We have the build a copyright-concerned private space online, taking into account intellectual “privacy” or “freedom”, “self-determination” or “autonomy”.


Pedro Letai: more that having a comprehensive approach, what we should be thinking about is that there is a change of paradigm (from “everything closed” to “everything open” by default). And maybe regulations should be made according to the later paradigm, and thinking more on diffusion of one’s work, rather than (only) providing incentives to creation (of new works).


9th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2013)