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Information Influx Conference

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 28, 2014 06:31 AM
Malavika Jayaram was a speaker at the event organized by the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam from July 2 to 4, 2014.

Click to read the full details here.

When IViR set up its research 25 years ago, the digital transition was just starting to gather speed. Since then, our societies have been undergoing enormous changes in the modes of expression, organization and (re)use of information. Traditional roles of producers, intermediaries, users and governments blur and are recast. Information is the central building block of market economies. New ways of creating, disseminating and using it impact the workings of democracy, of science and education, creativity and culture.

Information Influx will bridge disciplines, regions and institutional perspectives to confront the major challenges of developing the rules that govern the expression, organization and re(use) of information in our society – as the central aspects of IViR’s Research Programme.

Wednesday 2 July

13.00 – 16.30

Information Influx Young Scholars Competition:

13.00 – 15.00

  • Welcome by Prof. Mireille van Eechoud & Dr. L. Guibault

  • Catherine Doldirina (Joint Research Centre EC) – Open data and Earth observations: the case of opening access to and use of EO through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems
    Comments by Prof. Mark Perry

  • Jenny Metzdorf (University of Luxembourg) – The implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive by national regulatory authorities – National reponses to regulatory challenges
    Comments by Dr. Tarlach McGonagle

  • Harry Halpin (MIT/W3C) – No Safe Haven: The Storage of Data Secrets
    Comments by Dr. Philippe Aigrain

15.00 – 15.15
Refreshments break

15.15 – 16.30

  • Ellen Wauters (ICRI – University of Leuven) – Social Networking Sites’ Terms of Use: addressing imbalances in the user-provider relationship through ex ante and ex post mechanisms
    Comments by Dr. Chantal Mak

  • Nicolo Zingales (Tilburg University) – Virtues and perils of anonymity: should intermediaries bear the burden?
    Comments by Prof. Joel Reidenberg

  • Closing remarks

17.00 – 18.30

    Information Influx public opening:

  • Welcome Louise Gunning-Schepers (University of Amsterdam), Edgar du Perron (University of Amsterdam) and Bernt Hugenholtz (Institute for Information Law)

  • Keynote – Degrees of Freedom: Sketches of a political theory for an age of deep uncertainty and persistent imperfection – prof. Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School)

  • Young Scholars Award ceremony

  • Speech by Neelie Kroes (Vice-President of the European Commission) – Our Single Market is Crying out for Copyright Reform!

19.00 – 22.00

  • IViR 25th birthday soirée – by invitation

Thursday 3 July

9.00 – 10.00

Keynote – Governance, Function and Form – prof. Deirdre Mulligan (University of California, Berkeley)

As data and technology to wield it become pervasive, privacy protection must take new forms. Traditional models of governance centered on state actors, and human oversight do not scale to today’s challenges. Drawing from several research projects Mulligan suggests that focusing on roles and functions, rather than traditional forms and actors, can assist us in leveraging the potential of a range of human and technical actors towards privacy’s protection.

10.30 – 12.30

Parallel sessions:

12.30 – 13.45


13.45 – 14.30

Julian Oliver & Danja Vasiliev

14.30 – 16.30

Parallel sessions:

17.00 – 18.00

Keynote – Copyright as Innovation Policy – Fred von Lohmann (Google)

Copyright has historically been concerned with encouraging commercial cultural production. Thanks to digital technology, however, copyright law today finds itself called upon to take on additional unfamiliar roles, including fostering technological innovation and encouraging amateur creative expression. The talk will suggest some ways that copyright can successfully grow into these new roles.

19.00 – 22.00

Conference Dinner

Friday 4 July

9.00 – 10.00

Keynote – Datafication, dataism and dataveillance – prof. José van Dijck (University of Amsterdam)

The popularization of datafication as a neutral paradigm is carried by a widespread belief  and supported by institutional guardians of trust. That notion of trust becomes problematic when it leads to dataveillance by a number of institutions that handle people’s (meta)data. The interlocking of government, business, and academia in the adaptation of this ideology (“dataism”) prompts us to look more critically at the entire ecosystem of connective media.

10.30 – 12.30
Parallel sessions:

12.30 – 14.00

Buffet Lunch, plus: Brown bag lunch with Rob Frieden – Net Neutrality: One step beyond

14.00 – 15.00

Keynote – Intellectual Property: Two Pasts and A Future – prof. James Boyle (Duke Law School)

Twenty years from now, will our children look up from their digital devices and ask “Daddy, did anyone ever own a book”? In his keynote speech, James Boyle will trace the past lives of intellectual property, the battles fought, the technologies regulated. Can we find hints of the future in the battles of our past? Boyle’s answer is yes, and that answer should give us pause.

15.30 – 17.30

Parallel sessions:

17.30 – 18.30

Farewell drinks

Parallel sessions

Rights in the mix

Among amateur and professional creators alike there is a manifest need to not only share but also remix existing works. The panel discusses how adequately open content licensing systems support these needs. It also looks to how well this licensing system fits in the wider legal framework.

  • prof. Séverine Dusollier (University of Namur) (moderator)

  • Paul Keller (Kennisland)

  • prof. Daniel Gervais (Vanderbilt Law School)

  • prof. Volker Grassmuck (Lüneburg University)

Behavioural targeting – If you cannot control it, ban it?

The discussion about the potential pitfalls of behavioural targeting practices and the problems it may create for users and user rights continues in full force. The growing evidence of the ineffectiveness of the existing informed-consent-approach to regulation can no longer be ignored. Is it time for the regulator to move to more drastic means and ban certain behavioural targeting practices, and if so, which practices?

  • prof. Chris Hoofnagle (University of California, Berkeley) (moderator)

  • prof. Neil Richards (Washington University)

  • Frederik Borgesius (Institute for Information Law)

  • prof. Joseph Turow (University of Pennsylvania)

  • prof. Mireille Hildebrandt (University of Nijmegen)

  • dr. Tal Zarsky (University of Haifa)

Tomorrow’s news: bright, mutualized and open?

As public debate becomes more diversified, crowded, interactive, noisy and technology-dependent than ever before, what survival strategies are being devised for the news as we know it? Are existing expressive and communicative rights, and related duties and responsibilities, fit-for-purpose in increasingly digitized and networked democratic societies? Will tomorrow’s news still be worth tuning into?

  • dr. Tarlach McGonagle (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • dr. Susanne Nikoltchev (European Audiovisual Observatory)

  • Aidan White (Ethical Journalism Network)

  • dr. Luís Santos (University of Minho)

  • dr. Eugenia Siapera (Dublin City University)

  • Gillian Phillips (The Guardian)

Filtering away infringement: copyright, injunctions and the role of ISPs

Can technology solve the problem of intermediary liability for online copyright infringement? If so, should technology be allowed to determine law? This panel shall focus on the issue of injunctions imposed on online intermediaries to force them to adopt measures that filter or block copyright infringements by third parties on their websites.

  • prof. Bernt Hugenholtz (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • prof. Dirk Visser (University of Leiden)

  • Remy Chavannes (Brinkhof)

  • Fred von Lohmann (Google)

  • Sir Richard Arnold (High Court UK)

  • prof. Niva Elkin-Koren (University of Haifa)

  • prof. Reto Hilty (Max Planck Institute)

Mass-digitization and the conundrum of online access

Cultural heritage institutions face difficulties providing online access to digitized materials in their collections. This session examines a number of pressing issues, taking a trans-Atlantic perspective.  When does digitization in public-private partnerships pose a threat to access to public domain materials? What ways are there to manage rights clearance of copyrighted materials and deal with territoriality?

  • prof. Martin Senftleben (VU University Amsterdam) (moderator)

  • prof. Pamela Samuelson (University of California, Berkeley)

  • dr. Elisabeth Niggemann (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek)

  • prof. Martin Kretschmer (Glasgow University)

The algorithmic public: towards a normative framework for automated media

In the online media, decisions about what users get to see (or not to see) are increasingly automated, through the use of smart algorithms and extensive data about users’ preferences and online behaviour. This raises a number of fundamental questions about freedom of expression, editorial integrity and user autonomy. Leading thinkers will debate algorithmic decision-making in online media and explore the contours of a much needed normative framework for automated media.

  • prof. Natali Helberger (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • dr. Joris van Hoboken (New York University)

  • prof. Wolfgang Schulz (Hans-Bredow-Institut)

  • prof. Niva Elkin-Koren (University of Haifa)

  • dr. Bernhard Rieder (University of Amsterdam)

Accountability and the public sector data push

Initiatives to make governments more ‘transparent’ abound. Freedom of information laws are reconfigured to push out ever more information to citizens and businesses. Promises of benefits abound too: better accountability and increased participation, as well as efficiency gains and new business opportunities. Can and should the next generation of freedom of information laws serve both political-democratic objectives and economic ones?

  • prof. Mireille van Eechoud (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • Chris Taggart (Open Corporates)

  • Helen Darbishire (Access Info)

  • prof. Deirdre Curtin (University of Amsterdam)

  • dr. Ben Worthy (Birkbeck University College London)

  • Jonathan Gray (Open Knowledge Foundation / University of London)

A new governance model for communications security?

Today, the vulnerable state of electronic communications security dominates headlines across the globe, while money and power increasingly permeate the policy arena. 2013 has seen no less than five sweeping legislative initiatives in the E.U., while the U.S. seems to trust in the market to deliver. Amidst these diverging approaches, how should communications security be regulated?

  • Axel Arnbak (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • prof. Deirdre Mulligan (University of California, Berkeley)

  • prof. Ian Brown (Oxford University)

  • prof. Michel van Eeten (Delft university of technology)

  • Amelia Andersdotter (European Parliament)

  • Ashkan Soltani (independent researcher)

Global information flows and the nation state

Information flows contest the physical spaces in which the nation state has been deemed a sovereign for almost five centuries. This tension dominates nearly all areas of information law, from data protection and IP enforcement to mass surveillance by national intelligence agencies. This session reflects on the broader challenges that territoriality presents for information law today.

  • prof. Urs Gasser (Harvard) (moderator)

  • prof. Joel Reidenberg (Fordham Law School)

  • prof. Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford University)

  • Malavika Jayaram (Harvard)

  • Hielke Hijmans (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

United in diversity – the future of the public mission

Digital technologies and the information economy create fascinating new opportunities but also pose fundamental challenges to the fulfilment of the public mission of the media, public archives and libraries alike. This panel is a step towards establishing a dialogue between the three institutions: to explore the congruence between their missions, and their responses to critical issues such as technological convergence, the changing habits of users, the growing abundance of content and their relationship to new information intermediaries, such as search engines, social networks or content platforms.

  • prof. Natali Helberger (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • prof. Klaus Schönbach (University of Vienna)

  • prof. Frank Huysmans (University of Amsterdam)

  • prof. Egbert Dommering (Institute for Information Law)

  • Maarten Brinkerink (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision)

  • Richard Burnley (European Broadcasting Union)

Legalizing file-sharing: an idea whose time has come – or gone?

Alternative compensation systems are designed to legalize and monetize online copyright restricted acts of distributing and consuming content. Empirical evidence shows that end-users strongly support paying flat-rate fees for the ability to legally download and share content. So what prevents us from introducing such schemes? The group of experts convened debates the future of alternative compensation systems in light of current legal, business and technology trends.

  • prof. Bernt Hugenholtz (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • prof. Neil Netanel (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • prof. Alexander Peukert (University of Frankfurt)

  • dr. Philippe Aigrain (Quadrature du Net)

  • prof. Séverine Dusollier (University of Namur)

Assembly (Information influx)

Taking legal cases and controversies involving intellectual property, art collective Agency composes a growing list of “Things” that resist the split between “nature” and “culture”, a split that intellectual property relies upon. From the list of over a 1,000 Things, Agency calls forth Thing 002094, the copyright controversy Être et Avoir, to jointly speculate upon. The purpose is less to re-enact the judgment and more to prolong hesitation.

  • Agency

  • Severine Dusollier

  • Wilco Kalff

  • Sanne Rovers

  • Margot van de Linde

  • Arnisa Zeqo

Big brother is back

The debate about the pervasive surveillance of the online environment is roaring. Considering what we know now, what better metaphor is there than to conclude that we live in the world of Big Brother? This session will bring together leading thinkers and doers related to power and control in the communication environment, who will provide critical input on the way we think and speak about information freedom and control. Should we aspire to tame Big Brother or should we think differently about the problem?

  • Axel Arnbak (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • dr. Joris van Hoboken (New York University) (moderator)

  • John McGrath (National Theatre of Wales)

  • dr. Seda Gürses (New York University)

  • Hans de Zwart (Bits of Freedom)

Who owns the World Cup? The case for and against property rights in sports events

Sports have important economic, social and cultural dimensions. What is the optimal form of legal protection of sports events considering the public-private nature of sports? The focus of debate will be on football because of its major relevance in Europe in terms of diffusion, commercial exploitation, and social impact; but we can expect many insights to hold true for other sports as well.

  • prof. Bernt Hugenholtz (Institute for Information Law) (moderator)

  • prof. Lionel Bently (University of Cambridge)

  • prof. Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent University)

  • prof. Peter Jaszi (American University Washington)

  • prof. Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford University)

  • prof. Egbert Dommering (Institute for Information Law)

  • prof. Alan Bairner (Loughborough University)

Associated events

Invitation only:
Wednesday 2 July: Big Breakfast with Joseph Turow & Tal Zarksy – Ethical, normative, social and cultural implications of profiling & targeting in an era of big data – towards a research agenda, Institute for Information Law (IViR) & Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), East India House, room E0.02, 09.00-12.00 a.m.

Public event:

Friday 4 July: Lecture James Boyle & Marjan Hammersma about cultural heritage and the public domain
More information and registration at:
Cultural heritage institutions as guardians of public domain works in the digital environment, Rijksmuseum & Kennisland in cooperation with IViR, Rijksmuseum Auditorium, 18.00-20.00 p.m.

About IViR

The Institute for Information Law (IViR) is a centre of excellence in academic research which consistently seeks to further our understanding of how legal norms reflect and shape the creation, dissemination and use of information in our societies. That is the ambition at the heart of the many research initiatives IVIR has undertaken since its foundation in 1989. The urgency of taking an interdisciplinary and international approach has only grown in the past decades. It is crucial if we want to understand and evaluate the rapidly evolving complex and myriad legal norms that govern information relations in markets, in social and in political spaces. With over 30 researchers, teachers and support staff based in our offices in the historic centre of Amsterdam, we have the critical mass to broach key regulatory challenges of today’s information society.

Our focus on information relations deliberately cuts across traditional boundaries in legal scholarship. We bring together insights from constitutional law, human rights, public administration, intellectual property, contract and property law, and competition law. Our functional approach enables fruitful collaboration with experts from an array of academic disciplines, in information and communications technology, economics, media studies, political science and the arts.

Continuing a long Dutch tradition of openness towards the world, our work has a strong international orientation. It shows in the topics we study, the strong global network of affiliations we have in academia and the wonderful dynamic mix of upcoming and experienced researchers from all over Europe and beyond that make up IViR.

With each consecutive research programme we prioritize legal developments that fascinate us, and translate them into a variety of research projects. This includes doctoral research, research for policymakers at national, European and international level, and projects funded through national and European research grant programmes. Our current research programme and an overview of research projects can be found here. Doctoral dissertations, journal articles, books, case comments, studies, reports, lectures, debates, workshops, conferences and summer schools are the staple means of communicating what we do. Browse our publications here.

Media reports and conference outputs will be posted on the IViR website

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