Software Legal Issues


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Software Legal Issues

  1. 1. Legal issues around software Dr Ian Brown Foundation for Information Policy Research
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Legal protection of software: patents, copyright and trade secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy and encryption </li></ul><ul><li>Cybercrime </li></ul>
  3. 3. Patents <ul><li>Protect functional aspects of programs – right down to algorithm level in US, such as RSA </li></ul><ul><li>Covers independently invented systems </li></ul><ul><li>High cost and effort to obtain </li></ul><ul><li>Software patentability directive battle in the EU </li></ul>
  4. 4. Copyright <ul><li>Protection automatically obtained; no registration (or even ©) needed </li></ul><ul><li>Specific form of program is protected, not general functionality or “look and feel” </li></ul><ul><li>No requirement for deposit and later publication of code </li></ul>
  5. 5. Data Protection Act 1998 <ul><li>Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes , and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. </li></ul>
  6. 6. One-to-one marketing <ul><li>“ Getting to know customers as unique individuals, winning their trust and loyalty through satisfying needs on a personalized basis and transforming them into active business partners that provide sustained revenues over long periods of time.” – Lüdi, Ariel (1997): Personalize or perish. In . EM - Electronic Markets, No. 3, Vol. 7, 1997, S. 22-25 </li></ul>
  7. 7. E-commerce personal data <ul><li>URLs viewed </li></ul><ul><li>IP addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Cookies </li></ul><ul><li>timestamps </li></ul><ul><li>search queries </li></ul><ul><li>items placed in shopping carts but removed prior to checkout </li></ul><ul><li>data purchased from a variety of sources or gathered from public records </li></ul><ul><li>demographic and psychographic data </li></ul><ul><li>estimates of propensity to purchase particular products </li></ul><ul><li>information relating to credit worthiness </li></ul><ul><li>estimates of lifetime value </li></ul><ul><li>clustering & segmentation data </li></ul><ul><li>estimates of price elasticity </li></ul>
  8. 8. UK cryptography controls <ul><li>Implements Wassenaar agreement and EU Dual-Use Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Community General Export Authorisation: Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and the US </li></ul><ul><li>Open General Export Licence (Cryptographic Development) September 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Export Control Act 2002 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cybercrime/terrorism/hooliganism? <ul><li>“ A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb.” –Rep. Lamar Smith </li></ul><ul><li>“ electronic Pearl Harbour” would need 5 years and $200m –US Naval War College </li></ul><ul><li>“ Imagine the disruption to the nation’s infrastructure caused by someone’s failure to auction off their great grandmother’s curios on e-Bay.” –Wayne Madsen </li></ul>
  10. 10. Responses to cybercrime <ul><li>Sweeping new legislation on “hacking” and Internet surveillance often married to anti-terrorism responses: RIPA, ATCSA, PATRIOT </li></ul><ul><li>International responses: EU and Council of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>“ Law enforcers... are used to robbers and guns. There are now new criminals out there that don't have guns. They have computers and many have other weapons of mass destruction.” –Janet Reno </li></ul>
  11. 11. EU actions <ul><li>2002/58/EC: “Member States may… adopt legislative measures providing for the retention of data for a limited period.” </li></ul><ul><li>Danish presidency canvassed opinion on data retention </li></ul><ul><li>Draft Belgian directive would require retention for 12-24 months, with access for at last 32 crimes, and compulsory mutual assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Action now expected after Madrid March 2004 bombings: “What I am interested in is hard practical action like sharing communications data, which gets into the use of mobile phones and the internet” – David Blunkett </li></ul>
  12. 12. Council of Europe <ul><li>Cybercrime treaty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminalise hacking, hacking tools, child pornography, intellectual property offences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online monitoring and data preservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutual assistance, reduced dual criminality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Being used as excuse by states in central Asia and Africa, who lack CoE human rights protections </li></ul>