Are techlaw principles in
the ascendancy?
Graham Smith
Bird & Bird LLP
SLS Cyberlaw Section
Edinburgh
5 September 2013
Introducing techlaw principles
Introducing techlaw principles
Technology neutrality
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 3
© Bird & Bird LLP 20...
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 4
© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
Introducing techlaw principles
Technology neutrali...
Is tech neutrality universally applicable?
NO
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 5
© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
Applying tech neutrality
Four scenarios:
Safe to Deploy
Use with Caution
Not Applicable
Danger! Do not Use
SLS Cyberlaw Se...
Safe to Deploy
Regulatory liberalisation
Updating status requirements
Themes:
- Remove impediments created by previous tec...
Use with Caution
Extending/applying legacy prohibitions
Extending/applying legacy civil liability
Themes:
- Unintended con...
Not applicable
Legacy regime is:
Tech/medium-specific
Restrictive/prohibitive
Exceptional
Themes:
- Legacy regime is one o...
Danger! Do not Use
Official powers
Prejudicial processes
Themes:
- Interference with fundamental rights
- Limits and preci...
Techlaw principles and copyright
Copyright – Use with Caution
ESA v SOCAN
UsedSoft
Meltwater
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 12
© Bird & Bir...
ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada)
Copyright: does communication to public right
apply to video game downloads? (No)
SL...
ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada)
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 14
© Bird & Bird LLP 2013
Media neutr...
Technology neutrality
ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada)
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 15
© Bird & Bir...
Functional equivalence
ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada)
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013
Page 16
© Bird & Bi...
UsedSoft (CJEU)
Copyright: did resale of downloaded computer
programs infringe? (No)
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept ...
Meltwater (UKSC)
Copyright: do user's browser cache copies
infringe? (No – subject to CJEU reference)
SLS Cyberlaw Section...
Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy?
Yesresurgence of functional equivalence
SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 201...
Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy?
Butall things to all people
easy to ignore (e.g. TV Catchup, CJEU)
potential to ...
Graham Smith
@cyberleagle
graham.smith@twobirds.com
Bird & Bird is an international legal practice comprising Bird & Bird ...
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Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy?

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Keynote presentation to Society of Legal Scholars, Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh 5 Sept 2013.

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Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy?

  1. 1. Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy? Graham Smith Bird & Bird LLP SLS Cyberlaw Section Edinburgh 5 September 2013
  2. 2. Introducing techlaw principles
  3. 3. Introducing techlaw principles Technology neutrality SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 3 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  4. 4. SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 4 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 Introducing techlaw principles Technology neutrality - two main meanings ● Technology agnostic v technology specific • Form – optimum level of abstraction of legislative drafting • Benefits - lack of bias - future proofing by not impeding new technologies ● Functional equivalence • Comparable effect with old tech regime - behaviour
  5. 5. Is tech neutrality universally applicable? NO SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 5 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  6. 6. Applying tech neutrality Four scenarios: Safe to Deploy Use with Caution Not Applicable Danger! Do not Use SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 6 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  7. 7. Safe to Deploy Regulatory liberalisation Updating status requirements Themes: - Remove impediments created by previous technology-specific legislation - Liberalisation and facilitation - Future proof by moving from technology specific to technology agnostic - Functional equivalence requires proper understanding of prior regime SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 7 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  8. 8. Use with Caution Extending/applying legacy prohibitions Extending/applying legacy civil liability Themes: - Unintended consequences of extending/applying liability in new situations - How to apply principle may not be not obvious - May be no direct comparables - Technology-agnostic and functional equivalence may give different answers SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 8 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  9. 9. Not applicable Legacy regime is: Tech/medium-specific Restrictive/prohibitive Exceptional Themes: - Legacy regime is one of several potential comparables - Why not the existing general model? SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 9 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  10. 10. Danger! Do not Use Official powers Prejudicial processes Themes: - Interference with fundamental rights - Limits and precision rather than generality and future-proofing SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 10 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  11. 11. Techlaw principles and copyright
  12. 12. Copyright – Use with Caution ESA v SOCAN UsedSoft Meltwater SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 12 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  13. 13. ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada) Copyright: does communication to public right apply to video game downloads? (No) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 13 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 Technology neutrality Media neutrality 5 – 4 split Majority and minority both invoked tech law principles
  14. 14. ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 14 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 Media neutrality Reproduction right applies to copies made through downloads, notwithstanding they are digital copies. Communication right applies to digital communications, notwithstanding they may differ from traditional broadcasting technologies.
  15. 15. Technology neutrality ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 15 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 "the principle of technological neutrality … requires that the Act apply equally notwithstanding the technological diversity of different forms of media." "… there is no practical difference between buying a durable copy… in a store, receiving a copy in the mail, or downloading an identical copy using the Internet." "The traditional balance between authors and users should be preserved in the digital environment."
  16. 16. Functional equivalence ESA v SOCAN (Supreme Court of Canada) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 16 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 "the principle of technological neutrality … requires that the Act apply equally notwithstanding the technological diversity of different forms of media." "… there is no practical difference between buying a durable copy… in a store, receiving a copy in the mail, or downloading an identical copy using the Internet." "The traditional balance between authors and users should be preserved in the digital environment."
  17. 17. UsedSoft (CJEU) Copyright: did resale of downloaded computer programs infringe? (No) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 17 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 Functional equivalence "The on-line transmission method is the functional equivalent of the supply of a material medium. Interpreting … in the light of the principal of equal treatment… ."
  18. 18. Meltwater (UKSC) Copyright: do user's browser cache copies infringe? (No – subject to CJEU reference) SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 18 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013 = Functional equivalence "It has never been an infringement, in either English or EU law, for a person merely to view or read an infringing article in physical form."
  19. 19. Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy? Yesresurgence of functional equivalence SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 19 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  20. 20. Are techlaw principles in the ascendancy? Butall things to all people easy to ignore (e.g. TV Catchup, CJEU) potential to misapply demonising the internet SLS Cyberlaw Section, Edinburgh Sept 2013 Page 20 © Bird & Bird LLP 2013
  21. 21. Graham Smith @cyberleagle graham.smith@twobirds.com Bird & Bird is an international legal practice comprising Bird & Bird LLP and its affiliated and associated businesses. Bird & Bird LLP is a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales with registered number OC340318 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Its registered office and principal place of business is at 15 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1JP. A list of members of Bird & Bird LLP and of any non-members who are designated as partners, and of their respective professional qualifications, is open to inspection at that address. twobirds.com Thank you

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