(2005) 2:1 SCRIPTed 1—32
Issue DOI: 10.2966/scrip.020105
Volume 2, Issue 1, March 2005
Welcome to the second volume of SCRIPTed. This is the list of contents:
- The Significance of UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on the Human Genome & Human Rights
Shawn H.E. Harmon, pp.20-46
Modern medical research, particularly genetic research, is changing the nature of medicine. Concerns surrounding these changes and their potential negative impact on human rights led UNESCO to spearhead collaboration by experts in the creation of an international instrument intended to provide guidance for the promotion of bioethics and the protection of human rights in the genetic context. The result was the Universal Declaration of the Human Genome and Human Rights. This article briefly highlights the scientific and social setting into which the Declaration was injected. This is followed by a consideration of the drafting body (the IBC) so as to assess whether UNESCO was the appropriate body to lead this project. The process by which the Declaration was created is also considered so as to assess whether it represents an example of ethical and democratic drafting. Finally, the substantive content of the Declaration is considered and measured against the pre-existing regime so as to assess whether it represents an intelligible and coherent response to the concerns raised capable of offering guidance now and into the future. By assessing these procedural and substantive matters, one can draw some tentative conclusions about the utility and significance of the Declaration.
- Evolution of Industry Knowledge in the Public Domain: Prior Art Searching for Software Patents
Jinseok Park, pp.47-70
Searching prior art is a key part of the patent application and examination processes. A comprehensive prior art search gives the inventor ideas as to how he can improve or circumvent existing technology by providing up to date knowledge on the state of the art. It also enables the patent applicant to minimise the likelihood of an objection from the patent office. This article explores the characteristics of prior art associated with software patents, dealing with difficulties in searching prior art due to the lack of resources, and considers public contribution to the formation of prior art databases. It addresses the evolution of electronic prior art in line with technological development, and discusses laws and practices in the EPO, USPTO, and the JPO in relation to the validity of prior art resources on the Internet. This article also investigates the main features of searching sources and tools in the three patent offices as well as non-patent literature databases. Based on the analysis of various searching databases, it provides some strategies of efficient prior art searching that should be considered for software-related inventions.
- Public Domain; Public Interest; Public Funding: Focussing on the ‘three Ps’ in Scientific Research
Dr. Charlotte Waelde and Mags McGinley, pp.71-97
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ‘three Ps’ of scientific research: Public Domain; Public Interest; Public Funding. This is done by examining some of the difficulties faced by scientists engaged in scientific research who may have problems working within the constraints of current copyright and database legislation, where property claims can place obstacles in the way of research, in other words, the public domain. The article then looks at perceptions of the public interest and asks whether copyright and the database right reflect understandings of how this concept should operate. Thirdly, it considers the relevance of public funding for scientific research in the context of both the public domain and of the public interest. Finally, some recent initiatives seeking to change the contours of the legal framework are be examined.
- The Shape of Things to Come: Swedish Developments on the Protection of Privacy
Rebecca Wong, pp.98-113
The article highlights the tensions that exist in the protection of privacy online in Sweden following the enactment of the Personal Data Act in 1998. It raises the question whether the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC is outdated (complementing the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications 2002/58/EC) and whether it necessitates a review in the light of current online developments. The problem with dealing with the protection of privacy online as a national solution, such as Sweden does, is that the pervasive application of personal data in the cyberspace environment is a global problem requiring solutions that are not confined within the national borders. This article will consider the Swedish developments and raise the debate about the need for a global dialogue not confined within the European Union, but one that engages other countries such as the United States.
- Regulación Para Mundos Digitales: El Mundo Comunitario
(Regulation of Online Worlds: The Community World)
Erick Iriarte Ahon, pp.114-124
This article provides a philosophical look at the problem of the regulation of online worlds and the digital domain. From a general proposition of the themes of regulation and the possible theoretical framework that can be used to tackle such subjects, the author goes into an analysis of specific regulatory solutions to solve the apparent anarchic nature of the internet. This is done by proposing the community model of regulation in local and regional governments to implement Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) as a possible way to provide a solution to the solution to the problems described.