(2004) 1:3 SCRIPTed 363–513

Issue DOI: 10.2966/scrip.010304

Volume 1, Issue 3, September 2004

Welcome to the third issue of SCRIPTed. This is the list of contents:


Peer-reviewed articles and special features

  • Economic Perspectives on a Multilateral Agreement on Open Access to Basic Science and Technology
    John Barton and Keith Maskus, pp.369-387
    In this essay the authors set out a general proposal for a multilateral agreement on “open access” in basic science and technology. The authors discuss the economic foundations for such an accord, which they call an Agreement for Access to Basic Science and Technology (ABST), and analyse the principal issues that would emerge in establishing it.
  • University Technology Transfer
    Mike Cox, pp.388-407
    This article describes the experiences and general observations of the author at Heriot-Watt University and concerns the transfer of university technology for the purposes of commercialisation. Full commercial exploitation of a university invention generally requires transferring that technology into the industrial arena, usually either by formation of a new company or licensing into an existing company. Commercialisation activities need to be carried out in unison with the prime activities of the university of research and teaching. Responsibility for commercialising university inventions generally rests with a specific group within the university, typically referred to as the technology transfer group. Each technology transfer should be considered individually and appropriate arrangements made for that particular invention. In general, this transfer process involves four stages: identification, evaluation, protection and exploitation. Considerations under these general headings are outlined from a university viewpoint. A phased approach is generally preferred where possible for the evaluation, protection and exploitation of an invention to balance risk with potential reward. Evaluation of the potential opportunity for a university invention involves essentially the same considerations as for an industrial invention. However, there are a range of commercial exploitation routes and potential deals so that only general guidelines can be given. Naturally, the final deal achieved is that which can be negotiated. The potential rewards for the university and inventor are both financial (via licensing income and equity realisation) and non-financial.
  • Commodifying the ‘information age’: Intellectual property rights, the state and the Internet
    Christopher May, pp.408-419
    This article examines the role of the state and the rule of law in relation to the problem of intellectual property on the Internet. It concludes that the claim that states are no longer effective actors (and hence subjecting to them to political pressure is a waste of time) has conveniently omitted the state’s role as guarantor of the legislative infrastructure that underlies market activity. The state is critically required to legally support the markets of the ‘new economy’, and while its means of market intervention may have changed, this is not the same as withdrawal. The history of intellectual property has been a political battle to balance the rights of owners with the very important social benefits that flow from social availability of information and knowledge. Thus, states remain a key site for political mobilisation as regards the central legal structures of the (so-called) information society.
  • ‘Private Facts’: Is Naomi Campbell a Good Model?
    Raymond Wacks, pp.420-433
    This article analyses the implications of the Naomi Campbell case for the protection of privacy and the long gestation process of a common law privacy tort.


Peer-reviewed student papers

  • ‘Regulating’ Online Data Privacy
    Paul Reid, pp.488-504
    With existing data protection laws proving inadequate in the fight to protect online data privacy and with the offline law of privacy in a state of change and uncertainty, the search for an alternative solution to the important problem of online data privacy should commence. With the inherent problem of jurisdiction that the Internet presents, such a solution is best coming from a multi-national body with the power to approximate laws in as many jurisdictions as possible, with a recognised authority and a functioning enforcement mechanism. The European Union is such a body and while existing data protection laws stem from the EU, they were neither tailored specifically for the Internet and the online world, nor do they fully harmonise the laws of the member states – an essential element in Internet regulation. Current laws face further problems with the ease and frequency of data transfers outwith the EU. An Internet specific online data privacy regulation would fully approximate the laws of the twenty five member states and, if suitably drafted, could perhaps, drawing upon EC competition jurisprudence, achieve a degree of extraterritoriality, thus combating the problem posed by transfers outwith the EU. Any solution, however, is dependant upon our political leaders having the political will and courage to reach and agreement upon any new law.

Book Reviews