Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES)
- About Us
- CLES News
- Research Initiatives
- Training and Courses
- CLES Research Paper Series
The CLES is currently planning the following events:
- Claims for Damages in Competition and IP Law. Legal Framework and Economic Principles for the Evaluation of Damages
15 & 22 May and 3 & 10 June 2013
CPD course: 4 x 2.5 hour lectures
- Evidence in Competition Law Proceedings: A Comparative Perspective
5 June 2013
- Theory and Practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments in Europe: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective
10 June 2013
- Innovation, Competition Law and IP Rights
12 & 13 June, 18 & 19 June
CPD course: 4 x 4.5 hour lectures
For more information, please go to the events pages.
For general enquiries, please contact:
+44 (0)20 7679 1407
a.schuele [at] ucl.ac.uk
For research project enquiries, please contact:
Dr Ioannis Lianos
+44 (0)20 7679 1028
i.lianos [at] ucl.ac.uk .
- Some Reflections on the Question of the Goals of EU Competition Law by Ioannis Lianos
For more working papers, please visit the CLES Research Paper Series section on this website.
Social Media Unit (SMU)
The Social Media Unit (SMU@CLES), a research initiative in the making at CLES, will be the first forum in Europe exclusively dedicated to establish a dialogue on this new technology with the aim to influence the practices and policies of the key players in the social media space.
Its mission is to bring those who want to speak, and those who ought to listen – from industry, government, civil society and academia- together, in order to identify best practices and substantiate meaningful commitments to them.
In doing so, it will afford those industry leaders at the helm of a unique and valuable new form of media the unique opportunity to co-author the standards they will inevitably be held to.
We propose to examine a number of complex issues raised by the recent emergence of this industry.
What do we do?
The influx of social media has profoundly affected the way we interact, learn, consume, do business, and even the way we enjoy some of our most fundamental individual rights.
We propose to examine a number of complex issues raised by the recent emergence of this industry.
- The brave new world of social media/the environment of social media and their impact on social and economic relations
- Social media have changed the face of many things, including the way companies brand themselves and the way individuals and organizations interact with one another.
- However, the change effected by social media is at once more foundational than this and has impacted the very core of our social and economic relations: altering the power dynamic between consumer and providers of goods and services, facilitating the free-flow of information, encouraging non-proprietary, non-market based modes of production, enabling transparent government, and enhancing the role of citizens in stimulating, evaluating and shaping legislative action.
- Social media and the law: theoretical questions about the need for law to intervene in this complex set of social relations and regulate. How social media may change the law?
- If we value the shape and character of these reformed social and economic relations, we need to ask: is regulation in the social media space protective or threatening of these reformed relations?
- Where once the digital space was regarded as stateless and immune from national or international regulation, regulators now act within this space with increasing confidence and effect. Do we threaten to stifle the continued development of these innovative technologies with strict legal standards? Can traditional media laws be moulded to cover new social media without threatening the Internet eco-system, broadly speaking?
- Should we, in light of the apparently valuable role played by social networks in self-expression and political organization, embrace a policy of ‘social media exceptionalism’, moving away from the use of strong-arm legal tools and towards soft-law initiatives, or approaches based on community or self-enforcement?
- Privacy concerns
- As we have seen social media become more and more integral to the day-to-day lives of individual citizens, so too have we seen a flurry of high profile privacy complaints directed at the creators of these social media. Regulatory bodies throughout Europe and the US have begun to more aggressively challenge the actions of companies whose business models rely on the use and sale of personal data.
- The Social Networks Research Initiative will probe the rationales for developing common European legal standards in the area of privacy and data protection as they relate to social media. Facebook’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over its’ users privacy settings is an illustration of this trend. The research initiative will involve senior members from the major companies, active in this area, and legal experts in European privacy law. It will cover the European Commission’s newly proposed ‘Right to Be Forgotten’. Can this new right protect individual users’ fundamental privacy rights (recognised in the EU Charter and ECHR) without compromising the character of the innovative technologies such users have shown they value? Does the European conception of ‘privacy’ need reassessing in light of the way social media have been embraced by users and companies alike? Are enforceable legal instruments, in the form of European Regulations or domestic statutes, to be preferred over the sort of soft-law or self-regulatory initiatives we have seen emerging, for example the social media community’s voluntary adoption of ‘Do Not Track Technologies’?
- Antitrust and net neutrality concerns
- Do the networked effects of social networks render them prone to anti-competitive behaviour? Are regulators correct to begin investigating abusive market power within the social media market, as the UK Office of Fair Trading has recently considered regarding Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, or the United States Federal Trade Commission has considered regarding Google’s inclusion of personal data it holds in its search results?
- We programme a launch conference that will discuss the role of law in protecting the users of social media in light of the centralization of these technologies. It will assess whether the traditional competition law framework is useful for analyzing new technologies like social networks; probing contentious issues such as the meaning of ‘harm’ to such users, the (arguably illusory) nature of ‘choice’ for social network users in the absence of legislation mandating data portability, and the absence of a refined remedy for competition law in this space.
- The launch conference will also discuss the concept of ‘net neutrality’. Should the Internet be a space of equal access points, regardless of content? What does the rise and rise of social media mean for our understanding of this concept? Should Internet Service Providers or governments be able to filter and manipulate network traffic? While countries such as the Netherlands begin to pass domestic net-neutrality laws, what scope is there for European wide standards? Would such a European wide standard increase competition in the social and digital space?
- IP and contractual design issues regarding social media firms
- Companies have begun to realize that the social media assets they possess are extremely valuable.
- Does the fact that companies increasingly outsource, to third parties, the creation, development and management of their social media assets raise legal issues? Are social media accounts now a form of quasi- intellectual property? How can social media assets be protected? Do companies creating or engaging users through social media render themselves vulnerable to legal liability for content posted through these platforms?
The SMU@CLES team is currently working with the industry and groups interested in social media in order to prepare a research programme that will correspond to their expectations and in order to select partners for this research initiative. More news will be added soon…
- Martin Adams, SMU coordinator
Martin Adams is a graduate of Harvard Law School, UCL and the University of New South Wales. He has conducted research through the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University and worked on behalf of the artist Shepard Fairey in his copyright infringement case concerning the famous Obama‘Hope’ poster. Martin has also worked at a leading constitutional law think- tank in the United Kingdom.
As a digital entrepreneur, Martin Adams was involved with rapidly growing companies in the digital media sector, including digital marketing agencies, geo-location oriented companies and social media companies, and he has worked as a social media consultant for a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Martin currently works as a lawyer for Kirkland and Ellis, LLP in New York where his practice focuses on domestic and international technology and intellectual property transactions. He regularly provides advice to clients concerning their business operations in the social media space, and on privacy and other issues related to doing business on the Internet.
- Alexey Ivanov
Alexey Ivanov is a director for legal policy and social development at the Skolkovo Foundation; widely described as Russia's Silicon Valley, and the region's center for the development and commercialisation of technology and business. He also teaches an interdisciplinary course on Law and Information in the Globalized World at the National Research University in Moscow.
Alexey holds Masters degrees from the Russian School for Private Law and Harvard University, and he has worked at the Federation Council of Russia and in the judiciary, obtaining extensive experience as an expert in the realization of large-scale policy-making projects and legal practice. Previously, Alexey was general counsel at a leading Russian industrial group and head of M&A practice at a large investment company. He is a thought leader on global innovation and competition.
- Ioannis Lianos
Lianos (LL.B, D.E.A., PhD in Law and Economics University of
Strasbourg; LL.M in Trade Regulation, New York University Law School;
PhD in Sociology prob. University of Cambridge; Lauréat, Academie des
Sciences Morales et Politiques, France) is a Reader in European and
Competition Law & Economics at the Faculty of Laws at UCL in London
and the Gutenberg Research Chair at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration
in France. Ioannis is the Director of the Centre for Law, Economics and
Society, a Co-Director of the Centre for Law & Governance in Europe
and the Director of the Institute of Global Law at UCL Laws. Ioannis is
a qualified attorney at the Athens and Paris bars. Ioannis is Chairman
and Executive Director of IMEDIPA.
He is Visiting Professor in Competition and Intellectual Property Law at the Universities of Chile in Santiago and the University of Strasbourg and Fellow at the Centre for Law & Economics at the Australian National University. He has previously been an Emile Noel Fellow at the Jean Monnet Centre at New York University School of Law and at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ioannis has been a Non Governmental Adviser (NGA) at the International Competition Network (ICN) since 2009, a research partner to UNCTAD in competition law and policy since 2010 and an elected member of the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute since 2010. He is the general editor (with Danny Sokol) of the Stanford University Press, Global Competition Law and Economics Series.
His primary research interest lie in European and comparative competition law, international competition law, European Union law (internal market, external relations), comparative administrative and regulatory law (public-private partnerships, public utilities law), law and economics and economic sociology.
He is the author and editor of seven books and more than 50 articles in journals and chapters in edited volumes. His most recent books include The Global Limits of Competition Law (Stanford University Press, 2012), The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon (Cambridge U Press, 2012) and Regulating Trade in Services in the EU and the WTO – Trust, Distrust and Economic Integration (Cambridge U Press, 2012).
Page last modified on 27 mar 13 09:29