Lex Ferenda

Daithí Mac Síthigh / Professor of law and innovation / Queen's University Belfast


My research interests fall into two broad categories. The first is law and technology (including topics such as audiovisual media law, the regulation of the video games industry, and Internet infrastructure and domain names), and the second is public law (especially in relation to languages). I was a member of SCRIPT (at the University of Edinburgh) and continue to be one of the co-investigators in the CREATe research consortium. I primarily publish in law journals, but some of my work also appears in publications in the field of media and cultural studies.

Copies of publications are available at my SSRN page and on the Newcastle University website.

In CREATe, the centre for copyright and new business models in the creative economy (funded by Research Councils UK), I was principal investigator on the ‘Games and Transmedia’ project, where I worked with Dr. Keith M. Johnston (School of Art, Media and American Studies, UEA) and Dr. Tom Phillips (Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities, UEA). We held workshops with a selection of participants from the games and television industries, and also carried out a survey of gamers. Our main focus was on the impact of legal (and to some extent financial matters on the development of new business models. This meant discussion of intellectual property (especially ‘cloning’), tax relief, relations between different industries, and consumer law. The academic results of the project are being published (e.g. ‘Multiplayer games’ in the European Journal of Law and Technology, a chapter in the Research handbook on intellectual property in media and entertainment (Edward Elgar 2016)) and we are also preparing a good practices guide for a wider audience. I spoke about this project at the first Develop Live conference in Edinburgh in October 2014; Tom and I presented papers at the DiGRA Annual Conference 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. Most recently, I participated in the fourth Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest, speaking about video games in a panel on emerging business models. A summary of the project can be found (in poster form!) at the CREATe website.

In CREATe, I also worked with Dr. Emily Laidlaw (University of Calgary) on the ‘Human Rights and Public Interest’ project, where (along with research associate Yin Harn Lee) we are researching the impact of copyright law on human rights (especially freedom of expression).. In 2015, I presented our work in progress to the IP/IT/Media discussion group at the University of Edinburgh, and Emily and I gave a paper at the Law and Society Association’s annual conference, ‘A new framework for freedom of expression in copyright law”. We held a workshop with academics and stakeholders at the Information Law & Policy Centre (London) in 2016, and our recommendations were presented at the CREATe festival in 2016.

I work with Prof. Mathias Siems (Durham University) on legal research and education. Our first piece, ‘Mapping Legal Research’, was published in the Cambridge Law Journal in 2012. We have contributed a chapter to an edited collection (in press), where we present the results of a survey of five law schools on methods of legal research; drafts were presented at a workshop at the European University Institute in 2014 and at the Law and Society Association’s 2015 conference. I am currently writing a chapter on the evaluation of legal research in the UK, for a forthcoming collection (editors Profs. Andreas Lienhard (Bern) and Rob van Gestel (Tilburg)).

My most recent publication on Internet law more generally topic is on contempt of court and social media; it is in press and will appear in 2017 in a book edited by David Mangan and Lorna Gillies on social media and the law. Other recent work includes a review of legislation on IT issues under the 2010-15 Coalition government, published in SCRIPTed.

My interests in media/technology and in public law overlap in my work on languages, with my earlier work being on multilingualism and the Internet (e.g. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 2010). I have more recently presented work in progress at the Constitutional Law Discussion Group and the Soillse seminar series, both in Edinburgh), on official language status and on minority-language broadcasting, respectively. The latter paper was published in 2015 in the Journal of Media Law and the former is being prepared for publication.

Until 2012, I was a member of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy (UEA). This influenced my work on net neutrality and my 2013 IJLIT article on the governance of app stores (particularly Apple’s iOS store).

%d bloggers like this: