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News

Publications

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.

12-02-2019

Does everyone have a price? Understanding people’s attitude towards online and offline price discrimination

Poort, J.

Zuiderveen Borgesius, F.

Online stores can present a different price to each customer. Such algorithmic personalised pricing can lead to advanced forms of price discrimination based on the characteristics and behaviour of individual consumers. We conducted two consumer surveys among a representative sample of the Dutch population (N=1233 and N=1202), to analyse consumer attitudes towards a list of examples of price discrimination and dynamic pricing. A vast majority finds online price discrimination unfair and unacceptable, and thinks it should be banned. However, some pricing strategies that have been used by companies for decades are almost equally unpopular. We analyse the results to better understand why people dislike many types of price discrimination.

12-02-2019

The Netherlands in 'Automating Society – Taking Stock of Automated Decision-Making in the EU'

Til, G. van

Systems for automated decision-making or decision support (ADM) are on the rise in EU countries: Profiling job applicants based on their personal emails in Finland, allocating treatment for patients in the public health system in Italy, sorting the unemployed in Poland, automatically identifying children vulnerable to neglect in Denmark, detecting welfare fraud in the Netherlands, credit scoring systems in many EU countries – the range of applications has broadened to almost all aspects of daily life. This begs a lot of questions: Do we need new laws? Do we need new oversight institutions? Who do we fund to develop answers to the challenges ahead? Where should we invest? How do we enable citizens – patients, employees, consumers – to deal with this? For the report “Automating Society – Taking Stock of Automated Decision-Making in the EU”, our experts have looked at the situation at the EU level but also in 12 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. We assessed not only the political discussions and initiatives in these countries but also present a section “ADM in Action” for all states, listing examples of automated decision-making already in use. This is the first time a comprehensive study has been done on the state of automated decision-making in Europe.

11-02-2019

Discrimination, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic decision-making

Zuiderveen Borgesius, F.

This report, written for the Anti-discrimination department of the Council of Europe, concerns discrimination caused by algorithmic decision-making and other types of artificial intelligence (AI). AI advances important goals, such as efficiency, health and economic growth but it can also have discriminatory effects, for instance when AI systems learn from biased human decisions. In the public and the private sector, organisations can take AI-driven decisions with farreaching effects for people. Public sector bodies can use AI for predictive policing for example, or for making decisions on eligibility for pension payments, housing assistance or unemployment benefits. In the private sector, AI can be used to select job applicants, and banks can use AI to decide whether to grant individual consumers credit and set interest rates for them. Moreover, many small decisions, taken together, can have large effects. By way of illustration, AI-driven price discrimination could lead to certain groups in society consistently paying more. The most relevant legal tools to mitigate the risks of AI-driven discrimination are nondiscrimination law and data protection law. If effectively enforced, both these legal tools could help to fight illegal discrimination. Council of Europe member States, human rights monitoring bodies, such as the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, and Equality Bodies should aim for better enforcement of current nondiscrimination norms. But AI also opens the way for new types of unfair differentiation (some might say discrimination) that escape current laws. Most non-discrimination statutes apply only to discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics, such as skin colour. Such statutes do not apply if an AI system invents new classes, which do not correlate with protected characteristics, to differentiate between people. Such differentiation could still be unfair, however, for instance when it reinforces social inequality. We probably need additional regulation to protect fairness and human rights in the area of AI. But regulating AI in general is not the right approach, as the use of AI systems is too varied for one set of rules. In different sectors, different values are at stake, and different problems arise. Therefore, sector-specific rules should be considered. More research and debate are needed.

08-02-2019

An alternative universe? Authors as copyright owners- the case of the Japanese Manga Industry

Schroff, S.

Comics today are a major business and they form the source material for a whole range of sectors in the creative industries. In an environment where major investments are necessary to turn a comic into a cross-media success, commercial intermediaries such as Disney have become the key copyright holders. By controlling the copyright, they ensure full control over all aspects of its monetisation. However, this is not the only way success can be achieved on a commercial scale. In Japan, the creators of comics (Mangaka) keep their copyright- a direct contradiction to current copyright thinking. This paper addresses this conundrum by examining both the Manga business and copyright law to identify if the reasons why copyright is not centralised in the hands of the commercial intermediary, especially the publishers. The analysis will show that while there are differences between Japan and the EU/US, but these do not affect the role of copyright law and indeed failing to acquire the rights is a choice, not a necessity. Instead, this article will highlight that the competitive Manga market in combination with the uniquely Japanese publication right and social control best explain why Mangas are successful and Mangaka keep their rights.

31-01-2019

Film Financing and the Digital Single Market: its Future, the Role of Territoriality and New Models of Financing

Hugenholtz, P.

Lindhout, P.

Poort, J.

Til, G. van

Study requested by the CULT Committee, Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, PE 629.186, European Parliament - January 2019

This report studies the role of territoriality in film financing, the legal and market challenges territoriality faces as a key model for film financing and the consequences if EU policies were to reduce or mitigate the scope of territorial exclusivity in the audiovisual sector. It provides information on Member States’ and EU models of film financing, explores the challenges film financing faces from digital developments and evolving consumer behaviour and analyses possible alternatives to traditional methods of financing and policies to support this.

17-01-2019

Truce in the Copyright War? The Pros and Cons of Copyright Compensation Systems for Digital Use

Bodó, B.

Handke, Christian W.

Quintais, J.

This paper discusses copyright compensation systems (CCS) -- that provide licenses for downloading and non-commercial use of copyright works in return for a fee -- in the light of welfare economics and transaction cost economics. Recent empirical studies suggest that CCS could improve social welfare at least for recorded music. The general theme of the theoretical discussion in this paper is a simplicity-flexibility trade-off. On the one hand, CCS seek to reduce the costs of administering and trading copyrights online. On the other hand, standard copyright licenses distort the market mechanism. This paper discusses the costs and benefits of various CCS proposals compared to alternative ways of managing copyright online.

16-01-2019

Blockchain and the Law: A Critical Evaluation

Bodó, B.

Ferrari, V.

Giannopoulou, A.

Quintais, J.

16-01-2019

Related rights in United States law

Gervais, D.J.

This article explains the origin of the rights of performers, sound recording producers, audiovisual producers and broadcasters in the United States. As US law does not formally recognize a category of ‘related rights’, some of those rights exist under copyright law and are, therefore, subject to copyright rules such as the originality requirement, the possibility for authors to claim rights back 35 years after a transfer by contract, and the work-made-for-hire doctrine. Other rights are protected under different statutes.

11-01-2019

Thou shalt not sample...without permission!

Jütte, B.J.

Quintais, J.

10-01-2019

Het is allemaal fake

Korthals Altes, W.

Opinie

10-01-2019

Fake news: een plaatsbepaling

Nieuwenhuis, A.

10-01-2019

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