(2022) 19:1 SCRIPTed 1–149

Issue DOI: 10.2966/scrip.190122

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  • The Old College at night
    Simal Efsane Erdogan



  • Copyright in AI-generated works: Lessons from recent developments in patent law
    Rita Matulionyte and Jyh-An Lee, pp. 5-35
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    In Thaler v The Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (DABUS), Smith J. held that an AI owner can possibly claim patent ownership over an AI-generated invention based on their ownership and control of the AI system. This AI-owner approach reveals a new option to allocate property rights over AI-generated output. While this judgment was primarily about inventorship and ownership of AI-generated invention in patent law, it has important implications for copyright law. After analysing the weaknesses of applying existing judicial approaches to copyright ownership of AI-generated works, this paper examines whether the AI-owner approach is a better option for determining copyright ownership of AI-generated works. The paper argues that while contracts can be used to work around the AI-owner approach in scenarios where users want to commercially exploit the outputs, this approach still provides more certainty and less transaction costs for relevant parties than other approaches proposed so far.

    Keywords: artificial intelligence, computer-generated work, AI-generated work, DABUS, patent, copyright, ownership

  • More on Convening Technology: Blockchain, Fashion, and the Right to Know
    Kwanghui Lim, Megan Richardson, Say Yen Teoh, and WaiLing Seto, pp. 36-60
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    For many years mired in its cryptocurrency history, blockchain held little interest to those working outside the financial world. It now offers the fashion industry and its diverse publics the enticing prospect of a transparent value chain for ethical and sustainable fashion, catering to public demands for a right to know data on authenticity and provenance. Whether this is a feasible prospect remains to be seen. Nevertheless, in staking out its position, blockchain appears to be moving into an interesting phase of its short tumultuous existence. In short, it is taking on the character of a “convening technology” – becoming “the focus of a conversation that can [potentially] address issues far beyond what it may ultimately be able to address itself”, and marshalling “resources, institutions and other forms of power”. A difficulty is reconciling this beneficial function with the need for the so-called “technology of trust” to be trustworthy in practice, requiring at least a minimal governance model.

    Keywords: Blockchain, value chain, convening technology, fashion, right to know

  • Blockchain-based electronic time stamps and the eIDAS regulation: The best of both worlds
    Christoph Sorge and Maximilian Leicht, pp. 61-87
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    Blockchain technology, introduced in the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009, can be used to ensure the integrity of data using a distributed consensus algorithm, executed by a potentially large number of participants. A variety of blockchain applications have been proposed in recent years. The distributed nature of blockchains is advantageous in many respects but can be challenging from a legal and regulatory perspective. The European eIDAS regulation, for example, regulates trust services—but it assumes these services to be provided by individual trusted entities instead of multiple collaborating parties. We show how a particular eIDAS service, (qualified) electronic time stamps, can be seen as competing with blockchain technology. Both concepts can be used to provide proof of the existence of specific data at a certain point in time. On this basis, we explain to which extent a combination of both concepts is possible and useful in practice. This is founded on both technical and legal arguments. If the combination gains practical relevance, it may endanger a business model of trust service providers, possibly necessitating action by the state.

    Keywords: eIDAS, blockchain, digital signature, electronic time stamps, qualified electronic time stamps

  • [Redacted]: This Article Categorised [Harmful] by the Government
    Edina Harbinja and Mark R. Leiser, pp. 88-119
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    In April 2019, the UK Government’s DCMS released its White Paper for ‘Online Harms’, which would establish in law a new duty of care towards users by platforms to be overseen by an independent regulator. Our earlier research outlines how we got to this point, sets out what the White Paper proposes, and criticises its key aspects. Our objections and criticism remain applicable to the UK Government’s Online Safety Bill. The Parliament is now scrutinising the Bill. The House of Lords Report sparked some optimism that the scrutiny could address critical concerns around free speech in particular. The Draft Online Safety Bill Joint Committee Report, however, suggest otherwise. This paper returns to key arguments as to why risk-based regulation and duty of care are not appropriate for policing content and expression online. We focus on the human rights implications of the Bill, in particular, the provider duties to ‘handle’ legal but harmful content. Here, we reemphasise the vague conceptualisation and nature of this harm, as well as the inadequate duties attached to it. We argue that the independence of OFCOM cannot be guaranteed.

    Keywords: Free expression, online harms, platform regulation, duty of care, platforms, Online Safety Bill

  • Reviving a European Idea: Author’s Right of Withdrawal and the Right to Be Forgotten under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    Basak Bak, pp. 120-149
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    The right of withdrawal allows authors to unilaterally withdraw a copyright contract and retract copyrighted work to disassociate based on moral reasons. Although accepted in some European jurisdictions, the right of withdrawal is mainly theoretical due to the scarcity of case law resulting from its strict requirements. Therefore, it has been perceived as a concept without practical use. However, this right is underpinned by a significant and still valid European idea reflected by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, outlined in the data subject’s right to be forgotten. While the right of withdrawal and the right to be forgotten have different characteristics and goals, these two rights share the same reasoning, emphasising that the same European spirit is still alive and very much needed.

    Keywords: Author’s right of withdrawal, moral rights, General Data Protection Regulation, right to be forgotten