Our new paper is now available: Witt, Alice, Suzor, Nicolas P., & Wikstrom, Patrik (2015) Regulating ride-sharing in the peer economy. Communication Research & Practice. 1(2), pp 1-16 The rise of the peer economy poses complex new regulatory challenges for policy-makers. The peer economy, typified by services like Uber and AirBnB, promises substantial productivity gains Read more about Regulating ride-sharing in the peer economy[…]
We have just lodged our submission to the Communications Alliance draft industry code to introduce a copyright notice scheme.
In making this submission, we suggest that Australia learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions, and avoid some of the mistakes that have been made. In particular, this involves:
- Ensuring that adequate information is available to evaluate the success of the scheme
Ensuring that notices sent to consumers provide full and accurate information that helps them understand their rights and options
Limiting the potential abuse of the system, and particularly attempts to intimidate consumers into paying unfair penalties through ‘speculative invoicing’
Avoiding the potential for actual or perceived bias in the scheme’s oversight body
In a forthcoming issue of the UNSW Law Journal, Paula Dootson and I write about the effect of restrictive copyright licensing practices on the willingness of consumers to infringe copyright. This builds on Paula’s PhD work, and we present qualitative evidence to support the common intuition that the lack of access to legitimate content distribution channels increases the willingness of consumers to infringe copyright. But surpisingly, consumers do want to pay for access at a fair price if they can, and they’ll go to significant lengths to do it (like setting up a VPN to access netflix or itunes from another region).
I have a new article in press with the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. I’m interested in comments on the post-print draft. Abstract:
Modern copyright law is based on the inescapable assumption that users, given the choice, will free-ride rather than pay for access. In fact, many consumers of cultural works – music, books, films, games, and other works – fundamentally want to support their production. It turns out that humans are motivated to support cultural production not only by extrinsic incentives, but also by social norms of fairness and reciprocity. This article explains how producers across the creative industries have used this insight to develop increasingly sophisticated business models that rely on voluntary payments (including pay-what-you-want schemes) to fund their costs of production.
Edit: This article has now been published. You can get the final version here. I’ve recently been working on a new copyright project. I really want to explore alternate models for supporting artists and encouraging the production of creative works that do not rely on exclusivity. In order to get there, I think there’s a Read more about Access, progress, and fairness: rethinking exclusivity in copyright[…]
The published version of my article on the enforcement of norms in virtual communities is now available here. As online social spaces continue to grow in importance, the complex relationship between users and the private providers of the platforms continues to raise increasingly difficult questions about legitimacy in online governance. This article examines two issues Read more about Order supported by law: the enforcement of norms in virtual communities[…]
In a recent publication with Ericsson, we call for more principled development of copyright law and, particularly, greater emphasis on creating cheap, easy, and quick legal distribution channels (as opposed to harsher, cheaper, and quicker enforcement mechanisms). Most of this is pretty straightforward – we need more evidence in our policy development. Importantly, however, we Read more about Copyright enforcement principles[…]
In an attempt to curb online copyright infringement, copyright owners are increasingly seeking to enlist the assistance of Internet Service Providers to enforce copyright and impose sanctions on their users. Commonly termed ‘graduated response’ schemes, these measures generally require that the ISP take some action against users suspected of infringing copyright, ranging from issuing warnings, Read more about The legitimacy of graduated response schemes in copyright law[…]
This article comes from a core chapter of my PhD and will be published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. You can view the pre-print here: The Role of the Rule of Law in Virtual Communities (forthcoming BTLJ 2011) (PDF). There is a severe tendency in cyberlaw theory to delegitimize state intervention in the governance Read more about The role of the rule of law in virtual communities[…]
Kylie Pappalardo and Nicolas Suzor, “Standardisation and patent ambush: Potential liability under Australian competition law” (2011) 18 CCLJ 267, here. This article examines the problem of patent ambush in standard setting, where patent owners are sometimes able to capture industry standards in order to secure monopoly power and windfall profits. Because standardisation generally introduces high Read more about Standardisation and patent ambush: Potential liability under Australian competition law[…]