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Networks of power in digital copyright law and policy



Staff, Academics

Speaker: Dr Benjamin Farrand - University of Strathclyde

Series: The City Law School research seminars

nullThis paper adopts an interdisciplinary approach that combines legal analysis with political theory to explore the development of copyright law in the EU. In general, legal academics studying the legal initiatives in the field of EU copyright law harmonization have referred to the role of 'lobbyists' in determining EU institutional policies. However, this body of research has not looked into these lobbying processes in particular depth. Furthermore, studies on intellectual property reform, such as the UK-based Hargreaves Review, talk about 'lobbynomics' and the need for 'objective evidence' in copyright policy. However, it is submitted that asking why lobbyists are able to influence copyright legislation is the wrong question. After all, lobbying covers not only attempts by large corporations to influence legislation, but also attempts by civil society organisations, individuals and academics. Instead, a more useful question in this field is 'why are some actors more successful than others in having their preferred policy outcomes taken into account?'

As this paper will demonstrate, success in 'lobbying' for changes in copyright law is the result of complex network relationships, perceptions of industry expertise, and the comparatively low political importance of copyright reform to European citizens. By presenting a number of case studies, including the implementation of the Information Society Directive in 2001, the Enforcement Directive in 2004 and the Term Extension Directive in 2011, it shall be demonstrated that an active entertainment industry was more able to influence legislation than academics or user rights organisations due to a combination of expert knowledge and low media attention.

However, this paper will also show that the entertainment industry is less able to influence the development of copyright law when media attention and political salience are high, as in the case of the European Parliament rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Dr Benjamin Farrand is Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law and Policy at the University of Strathclyde. His research predominantly focuses on the interaction between political processes and intellectual property law, with particular interest in principles of networked governance, technology regulation and human enhancement technologies.

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When and where

1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 7th May 2014

AG11 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

Contact Details

Dr Enrico Bonadio

Senior Lecturer in Law

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
020 7040 8263

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