Volume 11, Issue 2, September 2014

GIKII Conference Report

Andres Guadamuz *

Cite as: A Guadamuz, “GIKII Conference Report”, (2014) 11:2 SCRIPTed 193 http://script-ed.org/?p=1545

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DOI: 10.2966/scrip.110214.193

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Conference Report

On September 1-2 2014, the University
of Sussex hosted Gikii, a conference exploring the interface between law
and popular culture, more specifically every aspect of “geek culture”:
robots, drones, 3D-printing, teleportation, manga, fan fiction, tattoos,
and even cross-word puzzles. Previous conferences dealing with these topics
have been held in Oxford, Amsterdam, UCL, Edinburgh, Gothenburg, UEA, and
Bournemouth, and they tend to attract a small yet enthusiastic
international audience. The conference has been highlighted in New
Scientist magazine. There is a strict cap to both the number of accepted
papers and attendance to keep the conference small. There are no parallel
sessions; the idea is to allow everyone to listen to all papers if they so
wish, and to allow conversation and discussion to the fullest

This year the event was kindly
sponsored by CREATe, the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models
in the Creative Economy, and we had 30 papers and 65 attendees from all
over the world. The topics covered were diverse and included copyright,
privacy, regulation, robots, virtual worlds, super heroes, anime and fan
fiction. One of Gikii’s trademarks is a high level of quality participants.
The programme (and most presentations) can be found here:

One of the strongest features of Gikii
is that it attracts strong papers and great presenters. It has become a
tradition to expect truly innovative delivery methods, coupled with
thought-provoking content. This year was no exception, and we saw not only
some incredibly well presented papers, but also were treated to excellent
research. It is difficult to choose between them, but here are some of my
personal favourites (in no particular order):

Burkhard Schafer,
Surface detail – reflections on the virtualisation of
. A look at the digital hells
as depicted in
Surface Detail by Iain M Banks, and whether or not we might use virtual worlds to
punish criminals.

Jas Purewal,
thing we do, we kill all the lawyers’: an interactive quiz show about the
world’s worst Internet law developments.
Legal practitioner and gaming law expert Jas Purewal treated us to a
quiz exploring some of the latest legal cases to make the headlines,
including the CJEU’s famous (or infamous) right to be forgotten.

Catherine Easton
“You will never walk again… but you will fly”: Human
augmentation in the known world
. An
excellent look at the possibilities of human augmentation. And

Miranda Mowbray,
Big Data: Darth Vader and the Green Cross Code Man
. A fantastic look at the possible use of a code of practice for
information processing and big data.

Edina Harbinja,
Putting Her in Legal Chains: Where are the OS Terms of
The author tries to imagine the
possible terms of service of the artificial intelligence software depicter
in Spike Jonze’s

Jef Ausloos and Yung Shin Marleen Van
Der Sype,

Closing the circle: The relevancy of data protection in a
fully transparent society
. The authors
explore privacy and data protection using
The Circle by Dave Eggers.

Paul Bernal,
Disney Princesses 2: Frozen and
the Chilling Effect?
Once more Paul
Bernal uses Disney princesses™ to explain online privacy.

Caroline Wilson, Cross
words: the Centenary Year

There were some themes going through
the conference. It seems like regulation, architecture and decentralization
are becoming more important subject, although this may have been caused by
organiser bias, as this was the subject of two of my own papers. I was
struck by how little we ended up talking about copyright, and there was
certainly more said about privacy in general. These are trends that might
be followed by legal academia in the next couple of years, and could be
explained by the waning of file sharing as a regulatory topic, while
Snowden and the right to be forgotten have made privacy much more relevant

On behalf of professor Lilian Edwards
and me, we would like to extend the warmest thanks to all who presented and
attended for making Gikii such a special conference.

Gikii 2014 Conference report