This is the first post in my new series of weekly recommendations.  I’m still thinking about the format, but for now it’s just two lists in the order I noted them, one for academic journals/conferences and another for blogs, newspapers and similar.  At the top, there’s a call to action – consultation papers, etc.


The Ministry of Justice is running an ‘informal consultation’ on the draft regulations under clause 5 of the Defamation Bill (England & Wales).  These regulations tell a lot more about the future of intermediary liability than clause 5 does.  The closing date for comments is 18 January (seriously!) and Inforrm has done us the favour of posting the consultation document, in a post of 3 January 2013.

Academic publications

William McGeveran, ‘The law of friction‘ [2012] University of Chicago Legal Forum (forthcoming).  McGeveran rescues from the rather depressing legislative debate on Netflix/Facebook and video privacy in the US a much better discussion on sharing and privacy, proposing a rule that sharing an action should not be easier than doing it – for example, one could have a ‘watch and share’ button as an alternative to a ‘watch’ button on a site like Netflix.

Tobias Lauinger & others, ‘Clickonomics: Determining the Effect of Anti-Piracy Measures for One-Click Hosting‘ (forthcoming, 20th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2013), San Diego, 26 February 2013).  This is a good paper, and quite timely.  It looks at the sector of non-P2P filesharing (hosting, links, etc), including an explanation of how it functions, but with the main focus of reviewing takedown methods and other forms of disruption.  It offers some suggestions that current strategies are ineffective and should be useful in future debates on ‘blocking’ debates in various jurisdictions.  Found via GamePolitics.

Graeme Austin, ‘The Two Faces of Fair Use‘ (2012) 25 New Zealand Universities Law Review 285.  The paper considers the US fair use doctrine but primarily in terms of how it is received or discussed elsewhere, including New Zealand and the UK’s Hargreaves Review.  This is also an important issue in the ongoing Copyright Review Committee in Ireland, which many readers of this blog are familiar with.  Although with some conditions precedent noted, Austin concludes by arguing that a specific approach (rather than a general defence or exception subject to judicial development) may be more appropriate.  He also has an interesting passage on the relationship between copyright law reform and the promotion of innovation.

News, blog posts, etc

Joe Mullin, ‘Senator Wyden lays out “digital freedom” agenda‘ (Ars Technica 9 January 2013).  This is a short report on a presentation by the Senator in question on his legislative priorities for 2013.  Wyden deserves the attention on the back of his work on SOPA etc although the agenda here is much broader, including patents and net neutrality.

Bob Tarantino, ‘Gross: Criminal Obscenity in Film and TV Productions‘ (Entertainment & Media Law Signal 2 January 2013).  A note on the Heenan Blaikie (Canadian law firm) blog on a recent obscenity trial in Quebec, with a discussion on the threshold for prosecution in Canadian law.

British Video Association, ‘Digital video spend soars as screens get connected‘ (7 January 2013). Report on new stats on the video entertainment marked in the UK.  No link to full stats.

TJ McIntyre, ‘Legislation is not the answer to abuse on social media‘ (IT Law in Ireland 4 January 2013). Opinion piece by the Irish academic on what seems like a rush of scepticism regarding social media on the part of Irish politicians.

Michael Geist, ‘Courts Adopt Aggressive Approach in Cross-Border Internet Jurisdiction Cases‘ (9 January 2013).  Discussion of a pair of cases, one from either side of the 49th parallel, both dealing with the good old IT law issue (and the even older conflicts of law issue) of personal jurisdiction and Web servers.  Both decisions tend towards the expansive side of the spectrum, i.e. that a server in A accessible (without more e.g. targeting) in B is enough, if other requirements are satisfied, to satisfy the requirements of B for jurisdiction.

Iona Harding, ‘Tax relief for TV and video games‘ (1709 Blog 4 January 2013).  Summary and links on the interesting issue of the proposed tax incentives for parts of the TV, games and animation sectors in the UK.  (The current system is confined to film).  Draft legislation is now available for comment until the end of the month.