Laws2014, 3(3), 469-508; doi:10.3390/laws3030469 (doi registration under processing) - published online 31 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article explores the challenges posed by an archival interest in the broad palimpsest of daily life left on social networks that are controlled by private corporations. It addresses whether social networks should be archived for the benefit of future generations and proposes a policy thought experiment to help grapple with these questions, namely, the proposal for the formation of the public interest-oriented Networked Memory Project by the Library of Congress for the archiving of social networks. My discussion of the challenges posed by this thought experiment will focus on the U.S. legal framework within which the Library of Congress operates and take Facebook. To the extent that social networks have user-generated contents that range from the highly “private” to “public” as opposed to other networked platforms that contain materials that are considered “public”, the bar for the historical archival of social networks is much higher. Almost every archival effort must contend with the legal hurdle of copyright, but the archiving of social networks must also address how to handle the potentially sensitive nature of materials that are considered “private” from the perspective of the social and legal constructions of privacy. My theoretical exercise of proposing the formation of the Networked Memory Project by the Library of Congress responds to the need to consider the benefits of a public interest-oriented archive of social networks that can counter the drawbacks of the incidental corporate archiving taking place on social networks.
Laws2014, 3(3), 439-468; doi:10.3390/laws3030439 - published online 24 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The task of this paper is to identify the causes of juvenile delinquency and juvenile offending. The French proverb chosen for its title (Step back in order to jump better) reflects the inherent challenge in this task; that is, how far back must we step in order to gain a complete understanding of these causes? Do we commence with adolescence, childhood, birth, pregnancy, conception, or the young person’s parents and their life experiences? How wide a net do we cast? Should we focus primarily on intra-individual factors, or the social ecologies in which young delinquents are found? Every story must have a beginning. In this story about young people who fall off the prosocial developmental trajectory, all sign posts point to attachment and the quality of the child’s first attachment experiences. This review will examine, from attachment and other developmental perspectives, how many of the more proximal causes of delinquency and youth offending have their origins in the emotional deficits suffered in early life. We will argue that delinquent and offending behavior represent attempts to redress these deficits. Consequently, interventions that attempt to prevent offending and reduce recidivism that do not address attachment ruptures and other early deficits cannot expect satisfactory outcomes.
Laws2014, 3(3), 410-438; doi:10.3390/laws3030410 - published online 9 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The increasing prominence of new Internet and social media technologies and their growing importance as a source of health information are pushing the pharmaceutical industry towards digital channels. This paper explores the potential impacts of the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing interest in online marketing and considers how the existing regulatory framework in Canada translates into the social media sphere. Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs is prohibited in Canada, as it is in most industrialized countries. Although Health Canada has reaffirmed that the existing DTCA regulations apply to new Internet and social media technologies, new dynamics such as user-generated content, consumer propagation, and targeted marketing make applying the existing regulations an uncertain process. Moreover, certain problems often associated with DTCA may be exacerbated in the social media context. Finally, there is skepticism around whether government regulators have the resources or political will to effectively monitor new digital media. As such, this paper considers not only the role of direct government regulation in monitoring and enforcing the regulation of DTCA, but also the role of third party oversight and industry self-regulation—both of which may play an important role in filling the gaps in the regulation of the Internet and social media.
Laws2014, 3(3), 388-409; doi:10.3390/laws3030388 - published online 4 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: While street surveillance technologies such as Google Street View are deployed with no discriminatory intent, there is selective scrutiny applied to the published imagery by the anonymous crowd. Disproportionately directed at women and members of ethnic minority groups, this scrutiny means the social risks of street surveillance are not equal. This paper considers the possibility of invasion of privacy actions in tort brought against the commercial service provider as a possible solution. Analysis suggests that Canadian law has evolved in a way such that it is exceedingly difficult to make a claim for “privacy” in tort when the plaintiff is located in public space. This evolution exists in order to ensure that innocuous behavior not be rendered actionable. Furthermore, conceptual reasons exist to suggest that actions in tort are unlikely to be the best solution to the problems posed by commercial street surveillance. While any individual case of embarrassment or nuisance matters, broader “macro-harms” that impact entire communities reflect perhaps the most serious problem associated with the selective scrutiny of street surveillance imagery. Yet, it seems difficult to justify attaching liability for those harms to the commercial providers. While limits need to be placed on the operation of these street surveillance programmes, it is unlikely that invasion of privacy actions are the most effective way to achieve that goal.
Laws2014, 3(2), 353-387; doi:10.3390/laws3020353 - published online 24 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Access to justice has become an important issue in many justice systems around the world. Increasingly, technology is seen as a potential facilitator of access to justice, particularly in terms of improving justice sector efficiency. The international diffusion of information systems (IS) within the justice sector raises the important question of how to insure quality performance. The IS literature has stressed a set of general design principles for the implementation of complex information technology systems that have also been applied to these systems in the justice sector. However, an emerging e-justice literature emphasizes the significance of unique law and technology concerns that are especially relevant to implementing and evaluating information technology systems in the justice sector specifically. Moreover, there is growing recognition that both principles relating to the design of information technology systems themselves (“system design principles”), as well as to designing and managing the processes by which systems are created and implemented (“design management principles”) can be critical to positive outcomes. This paper uses six e-justice system examples to illustrate and elaborate upon the system design and design management principles in a manner intended to assist an interdisciplinary legal audience to better understand how these principles might impact upon a system’s ability to improve access to justice: three European examples (Italian Trial Online; English and Welsh Money Claim Online; the trans-border European Union e-CODEX) and three Canadian examples (Ontario’s Integrated Justice Project (IJP), Ontario’s Court Information Management System (CIMS), and British Columbia’s eCourt project).
Laws2014, 3(2), 327-352; doi:10.3390/laws3020327 - published online 16 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Are more flexible fair use approaches, which require a test for determining whether new uses should be permitted, correlated with economic growth? Using the example of Singapore, we assess the extent to which fair use is related with growth in private copying technology and copyright markets. With reference to a differences-in-differences (DiD) methodology applied to the 2005 fair use amendments of the Singapore Copyright Act we test the law’s implications on private copying technology and copyright sectors in Singapore. The modifications of the Singapore Copyright Act were part of a set of changes of its Intellectual Property (IP) laws undertaken in the context of a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Our findings seem to support the hypothesis that a more flexible fair use policy is correlated with faster growth rates in private copying technology industries. However, the counterfactual impact analysis did not support our second hypothesis, that flexible fair use policy would be correlated with higher growth in the copyright industries (indirectly via the growth of private copying technology industries). Thus, while the growth of copyright industries slowed down to a limited extent after 2005, the industrial group did not experience the degree of negative impact we expected. Moreover, this limited negative impact was offset by the positive impact of fair use policy correlated with higher growth in private copying technology industries. We caution that a counterfactual analysis cannot be used to attribute a causal relationship. It can only establish a correlation between a policy and a given outcome. Our findings must be read in this light. Further research, containing more comprehensive data sets and possibly also singling out international trade aspects, would benefit the debate on the interplay of copyright law and economic growth.