Privacy in an augmented reality

Google introduced Google Glass in 2012. Even though this wearable augmented reality device has only been introduced to the public in some kind of testing (beta) mode, it has managed to draw the attention of the public, partially because of the possibilities that such a device can provide and partially because of the dystopian scenarios regarding privacy. This article seeks to identify the challenges related to privacy arising from the use of this type of devices. Furthermore, it examines the existing legal framework with regards to protection of privacy in the two main markets of these devices, namely the USA and EU, and recommends some solutions that could be used as a starting point to augment the protection of privacy and at the same time give space to the new technologies to be further developed.

Electronic press: ‘Press-like’ or ‘television-like’?

A notable development of recent times has been the exponential increase of video content available on newspaper websites. The technological convergence between press and broadcasting throws into sharp relief the historically disparate regulation of the two sectors. As long as no political consensus on regulatory convergence can be reached, the question of how to distinguish between text-based and video-based media in the online domain will remain relevant. In recent times, this question has surfaced in the context of the classification of newspaper publishers’ video sites as on-demand audiovisual media services (AVMS). This article examines the contrasting positions of the UK and Austrian regulatory authorities concerning the regulation of video material on the websites of print publications. The author argues that Ofcom’s approach makes it hard to predict the mixture that would bring a hybrid service within the scope of regulation. By contrast, the Austrian approach offers a pragmatic solution to a problem that is only beginning to emerge.

An international constitutional moment for data privacy in the times of mass-surveillance

Recently, there have been a lot of intense discussions on how human rights treaties might apply to extraterritorial mass-surveillance programmes. In the light of an increasingly prominent role that data privacy is gaining in the UN agenda in recent months, this article aims to make an original contribution to the international data privacy discourse by scrutinizing the different approaches to customary international law formation and applying these insights to ‘data’ privacy—as opposed to a general right to privacy—to examine whether it could be considered as a binding legal principle under international law. The article argues that different perspectives on customary international law and their respective methodologies of ‘deduction’ and ‘induction’ have different implications for the analysis of data privacy. Whereas under the so-called traditionalist perspective it could be doubted that data privacy has developed into a rule of customary international law, modernist approaches lead to different conclusions. The modern theories stipulate that a steady advancement of technologies in combination with a continued emphasis on international security and the unprecedented shock that international community is undergoing because of mass-surveillance revelations and spying activities of Western and potentially other governments, constitute the circumstances or period of fundamental change—the so-called ‘international constitutional moment’, paving the path for the swift development of a new rule of customary international law—the right to data privacy. Recognizing the ‘relativity’ of the different findings and conclusions, the article favours the modern approach and infers that data privacy has indeed crystallized into a norm of customary international law.

Product Hopping: Can Patent Non-Use Be an Abuse of Dominant Market Position in Canada

In Europe and the United States, attempts to switch demand from a non-patent protected product to one enjoying continuing patent protection have attracted antitrust scrutiny (pharma industry).

At this stage, it is not certain whether Canada will follow suit as the rules of competition applicable in that country may provide arguments to those seeking to justify such practices.

Bringing patent trolls into the spotlight

CJEU says that copyright exhaustion only applies to the tangible support of a work

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that the right of distribution within Article 4 of Directive 2001/29 (the ‘InfoSoc Directive’) can only be exhausted in relation to the tangible support of a work.

Boundaries of use of electronic terminals

Duke v Duke: the intersection of trade mark law and publicity rights in the United States

This is a case in the United States District Court of California where John Wayne Enterprises was unable to trounce Duke University due to the Courts lack of jurisdiction. This note explores the paradox of publicity rights in the US and personality rights (as it is termed) in Europe. This case is about the use in common of the ‘Duke’ trade mark which has continued for many years by both Duke University as well as John Wayne Enterprises (the estate which commercially exploits John Wayne’s publicity rights).

Remix prohibited: how rigid EU copyright laws inhibit creativity

With the emergence of the digital environment, the issue of ‘transformative uses’ in copyright law has gained renewed interest in legal literature.

While many authors have emphasized the challenge that these transformative practices presented for copyright law, there has been a clear lack of comprehensive study of the extent of copyright law’s hostility to such practices, in particular the non digital ones. In addition, too little attention has been paid to possible solutions to resolve this conflict within the copyright regime.

This is the first of two papers that seek to fill these two gaps. In this first paper we will provide a comprehensive assessment of the status of transformative uses in EU, Belgian and French law, informed by a vast body of case law. In the second paper, we will discuss potential solutions drawing inspiration from Canadian copyright law, which has recently experienced both the introduction of a legal exception for user generated content, and a court-led shift from a traditional closed-list fair dealing system to a broader, semi-open system of exceptions and limitations.

Trade mark tacking a factual question for the jury

The US Supreme Court confirms that trade mark tacking is a question of fact to be resolved by the fact-finder (typically the jury) rather than a question of law to be resolved by the court.