Is the NSA infringing copyright?

My friend and colleague Renata Avila has asked an interesting question on Twitter: “If the NSA is storing, reproducing – copying my data and works, are they violating Copyright Law?” I do not think that it has been asked before, so I am trying to tackle it today. This is actually a rather complex [...]

The Lives of Others and modern surveillance

[Text of a presentation I gave before a screening of The Lives of Others at Wolfson College, Oxford].

Although I am nowadays more interested in IP issues, I started my academic life as a privacy lawyer. My first publications dealt with something called Habeas Data, an obscure constitutional right that exists in some Latin American [...]

Copyright Week: Has the copyright war been won?

All of this week blogs and websites around the globe have been celebrating Copyright Week, an initiative by the EFF to celebrate two years of the defeat of SOPA/PIPA. Copyright Week consists of a series of articles analysing the future of copyright reform, showcased in a number of sites and organisations such [...]

Does anyone pay any attention to trust seals on websites?

In a world where online security has become an important element of our lives, it is becoming more difficult to trust information, even if they present a trust and/or security seals. A new report by the EU’s cyber security agency ENISA analyses the conditions under which online security and privacy seals help [...]

Where is the international outrage over the NSA backdoor revelations?

Imagine a world where there is a secret society with the capacity of listening into all sort of private communications all the time. This organisation has managed to build backdoors into hardware that allows them to check on sensitive data throughout the world seemingly at the click of a button. They can [...]

Functionality in software is not protected by copyright

I finally managed to read the latest (and hopefully last) instalment of the long legal saga that is SAS Institute v World Programming Ltd. This has been an interesting yet long case that made it all the way to the European Court of Justice, and it deals with several questions regarding software protection, such as [...]

CrunchBase reaches agreement with People+

As a follow-up of the interesting dispute between CrunchBase and People+ involving Creative Commons, CrunchBase has announced that it will publish all of its data under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence, specifically CC-BY-NC. At the same time, they announced that People+ has agreed to comply with the new terms and conditions. The press release from [...]

Creative Commons releases licence for intergovernmental organisations

With the excitement of the release of the 4.0 version of Creative Commons licences, it is possible that another really important development will have been missed. Creative Commons has announced the release of one of the last ports that will probably be drafted in a while, the Creative Commons Intergovernmental Organization 3.0 licence suite, designed [...]

Why does law enforcement ignore the virtual economy?

Is it still theft if the money is not real?

Consider the following scenarios:

A person has all of their money taken from their bank account by fraudsters. An armed gang enters a bank and takes all of the cash stored there. A person has their credit card stolen and the thief goes on [...]

How I see my social media life (animated gif edition)

Do not try this at home I lead a secret life Blogging for the masses There’s a method behind the madness

Get past those awkward periods waiting for inspiration Waiting for an audience can be difficult But the rewards great

And can make you and your audience smile…