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The Open Information Society: Where Are User Rights?

Dates:
  • Tue 27 Feb 2018 09.00 - 18.00
  • Wed 28 Feb 2018 09.00 - 13.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-02-27 9:00 2018-02-28 13:00 Europe/Paris The Open Information Society: Where Are User Rights?

If, as some theories of innovation claim, innovation has become more networked, user-centred, and democratic then rules and rights favouring users (and therefore diffusers) of information should be the dominant regulatory tool. Openness should also be a pre-eminent value since it is said to aid discovery, innovation, access rights, market efficiency and ultimately the functioning of democratic societies. Is this what we find?
The use of intellectual property rights as a regulatory tool over information objects and processes has deepened in terms of variety of rights, their depth and geographical spread. Users of information find that their interests, to the extent they are protected at all, emerge as interstitial modifications or qualifications within a structure based on exclusive rights in information. Uncertainty over the scope of exclusive rights creates a structural inegalitarianism in which users of information remain uncertain about its proprietary status. Within this paradigm openness as a value has arguably become more rhetorical than real. Publishers, for example, use it to justify the creation of royalty streams for academic works that, in effect, function as a form of double taxation on the public.
Should we be worried by the entrenchment of the exclusive rights paradigm for information? Was Schumpeter perhaps right to see monopoly as an intensifier of creative destruction in capitalism? Should legislatures be creating more express rights for users to replace the current ragtag of implied user rights, and exceptions and limitations on owners’ rights?

Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

If, as some theories of innovation claim, innovation has become more networked, user-centred, and democratic then rules and rights favouring users (and therefore diffusers) of information should be the dominant regulatory tool. Openness should also be a pre-eminent value since it is said to aid discovery, innovation, access rights, market efficiency and ultimately the functioning of democratic societies. Is this what we find?
The use of intellectual property rights as a regulatory tool over information objects and processes has deepened in terms of variety of rights, their depth and geographical spread. Users of information find that their interests, to the extent they are protected at all, emerge as interstitial modifications or qualifications within a structure based on exclusive rights in information. Uncertainty over the scope of exclusive rights creates a structural inegalitarianism in which users of information remain uncertain about its proprietary status. Within this paradigm openness as a value has arguably become more rhetorical than real. Publishers, for example, use it to justify the creation of royalty streams for academic works that, in effect, function as a form of double taxation on the public.
Should we be worried by the entrenchment of the exclusive rights paradigm for information? Was Schumpeter perhaps right to see monopoly as an intensifier of creative destruction in capitalism? Should legislatures be creating more express rights for users to replace the current ragtag of implied user rights, and exceptions and limitations on owners’ rights?


Location:
Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Law

Type:
Workshop

Organiser:
Prof. Peter Drahos (EUI - Law Department)

Contact:
Rossella Corridori (Eco) - Send a mail

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