Monthly Archives: April 2016

News: CMS committee approves Elizabeth Denham’s appointment as Information Commissioner

s300_denham_headOn Wednesday 27 April the government’s preferred candidate for the new Information Commissioner appeared in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, whose remit now extends to this post. Video here.

The CMS committee has now published its report, announcing:

On the basis of the evidence presented, we approve Elizabeth Denham’s appointment as Information Commissioner. We wish Elizabeth Denham well in her new post and look forward to working with her in the future.

Elizabeth Denham will replace outgoing Information Commissioner Christopher Graham who has served since 2009 (a five year term extended by two years – he cannot be re-appointed under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). A further statement from the committee is available here, which includes a statement from committee chair Jesse Norman MP:

“The Committee noted with interest Ms Denham’s views on a range of topics, including the possible retention of emails as official records, the extension of FOI and directors’ liability for data breaches, in particular.

We also noted Ms Denham’s track record on data protection with Government in British Columbia, and her proactive approach to protection of privacy with major international technology companies.”

The committee reports:

[12] Elizabeth Denham has held senior leadership positions in the field of information rights in Canada over the last 12 years. Since 2010 she has been the Commissioner at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada, where she is responsible for enforcing the Canadian Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA). Previously (2007–10) she was the Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada in Ottawa; having been a Director at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (2003–7) …

[13] Ms Denham gave oral evidence to us on 27 April. We questioned her on the following topics:

  • A comparison of the British and Canadian FoI and data protection regimes
  • Her understanding of the EU Framework underpinning UK data protection law
  • Whether and how the powers of the UK ICO might be extended in relation to FoI
  • The application of FoI to all forms of communication, including social media, whenever any government information was under consideration
  • Whether FoI should apply to non-Government entities delivering public services
  • The application of the commercial confidentiality exemption from FoI to government contracts
  • Issues of victims’ access to information highlighted by the Hillsborough inquiry
  • The responsibility that company directors should have for cyber security
  • Tackling nuisance calls
  • The implications of amending the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to extend data retention
  • Press Regulation: Lessons to be learned from Operation Motorman and the Leveson inquiry
  • The ICO’s relations with Parliament
  • The management challenge of moving from a relatively small state system to a national regulator
  • Funding of the ICO
  • The challenge of relocating to the UK

Comment: The not-so-secret life of ‘Generation Tagged’

In this post, Marion Oswald, Helen James & Emma Nottingham from the Centre for Information Rights, University of Winchester consider the issues for children’s privacy, in light of the recent case of PJS v News Group Newspapers, being considered in the Supreme Court this week. 

The damage has already been done, said the Court of Appeal in the recent ‘celebrity threesome’ decision (PJS). Those who want to know probably already know, so the injunction preventing the identification of the individuals must be set aside. The internet and social networking ‘have a life of their own’ and the Court has its hands up in defeat when faced with publications by foreign media combined with the information retrieval power of digital technology. The individual can still claim damages for breach of confidence or misuse of private information, the Court added but this is cold comfort to those who wish to take pre-emptive steps to protect their privacy. The case demonstrates that when personal information is ‘out there’, there can be no guarantee that any privacy in such information will endure.

And that information could be about a child. This is a pressing issue for ‘Generation Z’ (a term used to categorise young people who have grown up with technology and the Internet, and who regard use of social media websites as an integral part of their private and social lives). In our research, we are concerned with the youngest members of Generation Z. These young children are often very adept at using technology, but have little awareness of the impact of social media. They will appear on social media because of the actions of others, such as parents posting photographs on a Facebook or Instagram page, or even opening a Twitter account for their baby.

Where young children feature in fly-on-the-wall reality documentaries on broadcast media, however, they can become the target of comment on social media outside of their immediate friends and family. This content is discoverable long after the original broadcast by means of the inevitable hashtag.   We might call them ‘Generation Tagged.’

We might call these young children featured in broadcast and social media ‘Generation Tagged

Recently, reality programmes have begun to feature ever younger children, often under the mantle of behavioural advice or social experimentation. Examples include ‘Boys and Girls Alone’, ‘Three Day Nanny’, ‘My Violent Child’, ‘Born Naughty?’, ‘Child Genius’ and ‘The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds’. Such programmes are now less ephemeral than in the past. They are available for long after original broadcast on the Internet via on-demand services or repeated on various spin-off channels. The associated social media interaction makes that broadcast part of the online record.

How is it that we have sleepwalked to a position where this type of privacy-intrusive programming has been accepted as the norm? Many of the dramas exposed in the programme ‘The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds’ for instance, are intensely personal: expressions of love; kisses; grief. The comments made by the professionals about the children’s characters and how their behaviour should change would, in a medical or educational context, be subject to degrees of confidentiality. The publication of a hashtag invites negative comment (as our analysis of Twitter messages demonstrated). Such comment could adversely affect the privacy and dignity of the child, particularly so if other information released about the children and their families creates a risk of jigsaw identification. Harm might occur if, for instance, a future employer sees that as a child, a job applicant was regarded as autistic or a bully.

We wonder how child welfare considerations which apply in ‘real-world’ care, education and medical environments can be so easily overcome in the world of broadcast programming. Our freedom of information requests to the educational and health bodies linked to ‘The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds’ revealed that no ethics committees or similar had considered the involvement of the staff in the programme, because the work had been done outside normal working time and/or the data associated with the programme had not been accessed by the institution for research purposes. Channel 4 relied on the so-called journalistic designation – which excludes information about journalism and creative output from the Freedom of Information Act – to refuse to confirm the details of how compliance with welfare considerations under the Ofcom broadcasting code had been achieved.

The children featured in these programmes become mini-minor celebrities in their own right but they become so due to the actions of others. Despite the unstoppable nature of social media, they should not suffer the same fate as the not-so-mysterious PJS. It cannot be acceptable that such children may be left only with the options of claiming damages after the event, or of attempting to exercise their ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ in later life. We should as a society step back and consider whether we want private childhood moments to become eternal public entertainment and the subject of public social media comment. If not, then we need a more effective way of ensuring that the ‘best interests of the child’ is hard-wired into the ethical and legal process before the privacy intrusion occurs. We call for the creation of an ‘amicus brief’ for young children in the position of those in ’The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds’. This independent expert would be required to consent to the involvement of the child in the programme (in addition to the consent of the parents being obtained) and tasked with considering not only the immediate risks but those that could arise in the future.

With thanks to the authors for sharing this piece on our blog. Please note that posts reflect the views of individual authors.

Further resources

  • The Centre for Information Rights at the University of Winchester will be hosting the Third Winchester Conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law on 27th April 2016 – details here.
  • Oswald, Marion and James, Helen and Nottingham, Emma, ‘The Not-so-Secret Life of Five Year Olds’: Legal and Ethical Issues Relating to Disclosure of Information and the Depiction of Children on Broadcast and Social Media (April 3, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2758503

Notice-and-Fair-Balance: the Law of Fundamental Rights in European Intermediary Liability

On 11 April 2016, Christina Angelopoulos of the Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies and Stijn Smet of the Human Rights Centre, Ghent University gave a presentation at the BILETA Conference (which took place this year at the University of Hertfordshire) on their paper entitled “Notice-And-Fair-Balance: the Law of Fundamental Rights in European Intermediary Liability”.

The abstract of the presentation (which can be found on the BILETA website here) is as follows:

Abstract

Notice-and-action has been the preferred answer to questions of intermediary liability for alleged unlawful online information for over 15 years: first adopted, in the form of “notice-and-takedown”, in the US in 1998 as part of the DMCA safe harbours , the concept quickly spread across the globe in a variety of different mutations, including “notice-and-notice” (adopted in Canada), “notice-and-disconnection” (pioneered in France), notice-and-stay-down (still popular in Germany), “notice-and-judicial-take-down” (encountered in Chile) and notice-wait-and-takedown (a Japanese invention).

Following the general trend, the EU introduced a basic “notice-and-takedown” regime in 2000 by means of the hosting immunity of Article 14 of the E-Commerce Directive. While this provision has proven undoubtedly useful, it is also sparse on the details, creating legal uncertainty and undermining its harmonising power. In addition, it applies horizontally, i.e. to all areas of law, leaving no room for appropriate gradations. As a result of its alleged shortcomings, calls to reformulate the E-Commerce system into a more elaborate notice-and-action procedure have been made. These calls seem to have found the Commission’s ear: a series of Communications (most recently in December 2015 on “a modern, more European copyright framework”) show the EU’s interest in developing a more intricate European notice-and-action system.

At the same time, the European discussion on intermediary liability has moved from the dissection of processes to the analysis of their relationship with underlying law. Particular emphasis has herein been placed on the relevance of fundamental rights. The question of intermediary liability for users’ activities of copyright infringement, defamation, hate speech or child pornography has been reinterpreted as a quintessential question of fundamental rights clashes. The notion of a “fair balance” between competing fundamental rights has emerged as central to addressing such clashes in the relevant case law of Europe’s highest courts – the CJEU and the ECtHR. Although the amassing case law has begun to put some flesh on the bones of the once skeletal references to this “fair balance”, considerable gaps remain, while no general standard is discernible.

Based on the authors’ PhD projects, respectively on the harmonisation of European intermediary liability and the resolution of conflicts between human rights, this paper shall aim to bring some much-needed clarity to the debate by answering the following questions: where might the fair balance lie in intermediary liability cases and can notice-and-action measures help secure that balance? To this end, we will first provide legal theoretical insights on the precise meaning of the notion “fair balance”. We will argue that achieving a “fair balance” in intermediary liability cases requires a search for a viable compromise between all fundamental rights at stake, instead of a solution under which one right “trumps” the others. Having set the theoretical stage, we will then proceed to examine various notice-and-action mechanisms to determine whether or not they contribute to reaching the desired compromise. In doing so, we will differentiate between distinct situations, arguing – for instance – that notice-and-notice suffices in copyright cases, while notice-and-takedown is suitable for defamation cases and a no notice/automatic takedown obligation is appropriate for child pornography.

The slides are available below.

Bileta – Smet Angelopoulos

The full paper will be published later this year.

CJEU AG suggests that free Wi-Fi providers may not be ordered to password protect their networks

Christina Angelopoulos is a post-doc researcher at the Information Law and Policy Centre of the University of London. She wrote her PhD on intermediary liability in copyright at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam. In the following piece, she analyses the Opinion of the Advocate General Szpunar recently handed down in Mc Fadden. The post was originally published on the Kluwer Copyright Blog.

On 16 March 2016 the CJEU’s Advocate General Szpunar handed down his Opinion in case C-484/14, Mc Fadden. The case concerns the liability of Tobias Mc Fadden, the owner of a business selling lighting and sound systems in Munich. Mr Mc Fadden operates a Wi-Fi hotspot on the business’ premises, deliberately left unprotected by a password, so as to enable free public access to the internet. In September 2010, that internet connection was used for the unlawful download of a musical work by one of the network’s anonymous users. The owner of the relevant copyright, Sony Music, decided to bring an action against Mc Fadden, seeking both damages and an injunction. [To continue reading the rest of the post on the Kluwer Copyright Blog, click here.]

Upcoming Event: Intellectual Property and the Politics of Knowledge

Kent Law School, with the support of the Information Law and Policy Centre (IALS, University of London)

  • Date: Friday, 20 May 2016, from 10:15 to 16:30
  • Location: Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London
  • More information available at this link

Although the elusive character of intellectual property’s subject matter might have been a productive dilemma for the development of legal doctrine, the specific mutability of this form of property has also made it into a particularly contested and sensitive area, where different arguments about its legitimations collide. It is in this sense that intellectual property has been a canvas on which identities have been contested; economic and intellectual capital created and accumulated; as well as knowledges and identities wilfully delineated, transformed and managed as ‘assets.’ Intellectual property regimes do not only commoditise knowledge, but also transform the very processes by which it is generated, understood and valued.

The workshop brings together scholars from law, science studies, anthropology, philosophy and sociology to explore many questions concerning the role of intellectual property as a specific mode of governance of intangible knowledge at the present moment in time. Beyond understanding intellectual property as legal techniques of appropriation, the workshop will explore intellectual property and its broader contemporary political, social and cultural meanings: its relation to economic rationality; as a specific mode of governance of different epistemes; and as concrete practices of industrialisation and valorisation.

ip-workshop-london-20-may-2016-poster

For further details, please contact:

Hyo Yoon Kang

Kent Law School, University of Kent

h.y.kang@kent.ac.uk

and

Jose Bellido

Kent Law School, University of Kent

j.a.bellido@kent.ac.uk

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Needles on top of haystacks and reporting the courts in a digital age

An update on developments in digital court reporting by the Information Law and Policy Centre’s Judith Townend

How should courts be reported in the digital age? It’s a question that’s been preoccupying me for a number of years. My understanding of the technology, law and potential reforms are constantly challenged as I encounter new examples and people with varying experiences in different areas of legal work. For example, Penelope Gibbs of Transform Justice has drawn my attention to important work on the rights of children involved in judicial processes.

This week I’ve been looking at the ruling in BBC & Eight Other Media Organisations, R (on the application of) v F & D [2016] EWCA Crim 12 (11 February 2016), published following the conviction and sentencing of two 15 year old defendants for the murder of Angela Wrightson in December 2014.

In an unusual order issued by the Court of Appeal, the media was prohibited, until the verdicts in the criminal trial or further order, from placing reports on Facebook profile pages, and was instructed to disable the comment facilities on any report of the criminal trial. This was to prevent the media giving prominence to public comments on their Facebook pages – which the trial judge Globe J described as placing ‘a lot of needles’ on top of a haystack – and risk prejudicing proceedings.

In a piece for the Justice Gap (re-published on the Transparency Project) discussing the case I argue that our contemporary systems for judicial information control are lacking and muddled with serious consequences for freedom of expression, which affects both the public and media right to impart information, and the right to receive information.

I made a similar point in a paper co-authored with Dr Henry Irving for History and Policy, looking at the Incedal terrorism-related trials in 2014 and 15.

We need more guidance and clarity on how open courts should look, given the reality of digital and hybrid media of the 21st century. This will help us design fairer and more practical systems that give appropriate weight to and recognition of important rights: not only freedom of expression and open justice, but also those relating to the welfare of children, private and family life and the rehabilitation of offenders.

Further reading

Upcoming event, 21st April 2016: ‘Judgecraft and Emotions’

The focus of the Information Law and Policy Centre’s work at the IALS is law and regulation relating to the control and flow of data and media, but we are also concerned with the way in which law is accessed and the study of law as a humanity discipline, and have been involved in a number of IALS events that look at the ‘Humanity of Law’ including the work of judges and barristers.

Our latest event on this theme considers ‘judgecraft and emotions’, and will take the form of a conversation between our chair and two guest speakers.  We hope you can join us.

Those interested in this topic may also wish to take a look at the Judicial Images project, an initiative of the LSE and Birkbeck University of London, and also this upcoming conference at St Mary’s University Twickenham, ‘(In)visibility, Law and Culture’ (5-6 September 2016).

Title: Judgecraft and Emotions
Date: 21/04/2016 – 18:0019:30
Institute: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Dr Ruth Herz and Ann McAllister. Chair: Professor Lisa Webley

In this unusual event, two judges – one from the UK, one from Germany – reflect on their professional experiences and, in particular, the emotional dimension to their work. Their informal conversation will consider the emotional and ethical challenges of their role, and their own take on topics such as judicial diversity, court modernisation initiatives and the role of the media in the pursuit of justice.

Dr Ruth Herz was a judge in the District Court of Cologne’s Youth Court for over thirty years, until 2006. She also spent four years playing the role of the judge in one of Germany’s most popular reality TV shows, ‘Das Jugendgericht’ (‘The Youth Court’) with a daily audience of over two million viewers across Europe. She is currently a visiting professor in the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London.

Ann McAllister was a barrister specialising in property law for many years. In 2004 she was appointed a Recorder with criminal, civil and chancery tickets. In 2006 she was appointed a full time Deputy Adjudicator to the Land Registry, a specialist tribunal dealing with property disputes. This tribunal is now known as the First Tier Property Chamber and Ann is a judge of this Tribunal.

Professor Lisa Webley is Professor of Empirical Legal Studies at the University of Westminster, where her research interests include the legal profession, dispute resolution and the legal system. She has carried out funded empirical research for a number of public bodies and organisations and undertakes academic and professional consultancy work, including consultancy for City law firms. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, and Course Director and principal teacher on the Institute’s two week intensive Introduction to Legal and Empirical Research Methods course for MPhil/PhD students.

REGISTRATION:  This event is FREE but advance booking is requested.  To book your place via the IALS Eventbrite page, please click here.

For additional information please contact ials.events@sas.ac.uk.

Upcoming event: Workshop on a Draft Convention on Electronic Evidence – 20 May 2016

The Information Law and Policy Centre is pleased to be supporting this upcoming event at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on a ‘Draft Convention on Electronic Evidence’, due to take place during the afternoon of 20 May 2016.

Stephen Mason, an expert in this area, has recognised that there is a lack of internationally recognized guidelines or convention on electronic evidence, and is co-ordinating this event and the wider project to address this issue.

Event details

Workshop Leader: Stephen Mason, BA (Hons) (History and Educational Philosophy), MA, LLM, PGCE (FE), Barrister and IALS Associate Research Fellow

This workshop, continuing work launched at a conference in Zagreb in April 2016, aims to support a private initiative to draw up a Convention on Electronic Evidence.

  • “I have spoken so many times (especially in Europe) about electronic evidence, and spoken to so many people, and the same questions keeps on being raised: why is there no Convention on Electronic Evidence being devised by the Council of Europe or the UN?” Stephen Mason

This workshop is a free event for all interested parties to exchange ideas and contribute to the development of a draft international Convention text.

The draft will be further developed online: www.conventiononelectronicevidence.org and appear in Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review 2016. Each person attending the meeting will be listed as having attended the workshop in the formal minutes of the Convention.

REGISTRATION:  This workshop is FREE but advance booking is requested.  To book your place please click here

For additional information please contact sas.events@sas.ac.uk.

Cultural cold wars: The risk of anti-‘extremism’ policy for academic freedom of expression

Universities risk ignoring laws about protecting freedom of speech in their attempt to protect students against being radicalised, argue Professor Alison Scott-Baumann and Hugh Tomlinson QC. This post first appeared on Research Professional.

Universities are under increasing pressure from government to prevent students coming into contact with “extreme” ideas. The view is that students exposed to any kind of views designated “extreme” could be drawn into terrorism. But the risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom is obvious. Society needs to avoid a climate in which ideas are seen as dangerous, deviant and extremist if they differ from views that are believed to be held by the majority. Many university administrators now appear to believe that in order to prevent terrorism, the law requires them to curtail the freedom of academic debate. This approach is not only wrong in principle and in practice but also illegal.

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places certain duties on higher education authorities but, contrary to what is often assumed, it does not place a statutory duty on universities to monitor or record information or to ban certain kinds of lawful speech. It merely imposes a duty to “have due regard” to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The act gives the business secretary the power to issue guidance about how the duty should be exercised. Universities must “have regard” to such guidance. But it nevertheless remains just that―guidance.

And the official guidance intended to clarify the 2015 act is unclear and potentially misleading. Broad definitions of extremism seem to be linked to equally imprecise definitions of “terrorism”, “non-violent extremism”, “radicalisation” and “fundamental British values”. These definitions could be understood to mean that people who are, for example, critical of British foreign policy, are at risk of radicalisation and to suggest that academics and students accustomed to expressing personal views at university would need to be warned of the risks of discussing certain issues. But this is not correct, and universities should not let the imprecise and unclear language of the guidance draw them into placing unlawful restrictions on academic freedom and freedom of speech.

It is crucial to understand that in addition to imposing the Prevent duty to “have due regard” to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, the 2015 act also emphasizes freedom of academic expression. A university is also under a duty to “have due regard” to the duty to ensure freedom of speech.

The “duty to ensure freedom of speech” is found in the Education Act 1986 and is expressed in the widest terms. The 1986 act confers on universities not just a duty to “have regard” to freedom of speech but a much stronger duty to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees… and visiting speakers”. Universities must ensure, insofar as is reasonably practicable, that no individual is denied use of their premises on any ground connected with “the beliefs or views of that individual”. The only basis on which the duty to ensure freedom of expression can be overridden is if what a visiting speaker is likely to say is not “within the law” or it is not “reasonably practicable” to allow use of university premises (because, for example, no room is available or there is likely to be disorder at the public meeting).

In other words, a university cannot, lawfully, ban a speaker just because he or she says something opposed to “fundamental British values”. Those defined as “extremists” in the guidance have to be given a platform unless they are advocating violence or some other illegal conduct.

And there is more. Universities are public authorities and, as such, it is illegal under the Human Rights Act 1998 for them to act in a way that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes a right to freedom of expression that can only be restricted if the restriction is legal, for a proper purpose and if the restriction is necessary and proportionate to achieve that purpose. Restrictions on visiting speakers or on the expression of ideas by students or staff are only legal if they comply with these rules. The fact that a speaker may say something provocative or offensive does not mean that his or her rights can lawfully be interfered with. Provided that what is said does not incite, threaten or provoke violence or is otherwise contrary to the criminal law, it would be illegal for a university to prohibit or restrict it.

It is important to remember that the provisions of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 do not place any strict or absolute duties on universities. They require a university to do three things: to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech for students, staff and visiting speakers; to take into account the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism; and to take into account the guidance issued by the business secretary. A university would need to consider how far people risk being drawn into terrorism or being upset about any issues (including gender and politics and international relations) by the views likely to be expressed. But if the speaker is going to stay within the law then the event must be allowed to proceed, even if there is no opposing speaker. Any restrictions or prohibitions on speech that does not break the criminal law are likely to be illegal.

The message is clear. Universities need carefully to monitor events, considering each one individually, and they must keep proper records. They should record the fact that they have considered the risks and explain why they have decided that a particular event should proceed. But they would be in breach of their duty to ensure freedom of speech and of duties under the 2015 act if they adopted rigid rules and applied them to every situation without specific consideration of individual circumstances. And they would be acting illegally if they refused a platform to speakers whose actions were unlikely to break the law.

In short, the guidance cannot set down any hard and fast rules. Other factors to be taken into account are existing “duty of care” criteria and the criminal law. Both are already well understood and implemented by universities and should be sufficient to safeguard university staff and students. Every university has a well-developed duty of care policy.

University life is being depicted as fraught with danger―potential and actual―because of a perceived terrorist threat and also the implication that many ideas are dangerous, deviant and extremist. There is a risk that this depiction will eventually have a real and detrimental effect on university culture. These phenomena form part of a new cultural cold war in which universities are at risk of mirroring the deviance that they are tasked with monitoring. It is urgent to consider what can be done in the interests of freedom of speech and academic freedom, before universities are told that thought itself is too radical.

Alison Scott-Baumann is professor of society and belief in the Centre of Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. Hugh Tomlinson QC is a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers who specialises in human rights and freedom of expression.

This post first appeared on Research Professional and is re-published with the kind permission of the authors. Resources from the School of Advanced Study’s ‘Prevent in Practice’ conference in October 2015 can be found at this link.

Please note: This site provides general information only and does not contain legal advice. It is not responsible for the content of third party sites. Posts reflect the views of individual authors.

New Edition: Concise European Copyright Law

A second edition of the Concise European Copyright Law has been released. The book, edited by Prof. Thomas Dreier and Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz and published by Kluwer Law International in January 2016, provides a compact commentary on the modern EU-level copyright framework, covering both the EU directives adopted in the field, as well as the main international conventions that have had an impact on it. It thus constitutes an invaluable resource for anybody interested in the area.

As the publisher describes:

Concise European Copyright Law aims to offer the reader a rapid understanding of all the provisions of copyright law in force in Europe that have been enacted at the European and international levels. This volume takes the form of an article-by-article commentary on the relevant European directives and international treaties in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights. It is intended to provide the reader with a short and straightforward explanation of the principles of law to be drawn from each provision. Editors and authors are prominent specialists (academics and practitioners) in the field of international and European copyright law.

Concise European Copyright Law is part of ‘Concise IP’, a series of five volumes of commentary on European intellectual property legislation. The five volumes cover: Patents and related matters, Trademarks and designs, Copyrights and neighbouring rights, IT and a general volume including jurisdictional issues.

The book has been comprehensively updated since the first edition was published in 2006. The new edition features a chapter on the 2006 consolidated Term Directive, as amended by the 2011 Term Extension Directive, by Christina Angelopoulos, researcher at IALS Information Law and Policy Centre. The chapter was written while the author was based at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam.