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REVEAL | June 28, 2017

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Rules, laws, implications …

Rules, laws, implications …
Jochen Spangenberg

Dealing with and using content residing in social networks for newsgathering, reporting, opinion-forming, or business intelligence, is one thing. Legal aspects and implications are another matter. What is allowed (under which conditions), what isn’t? What are the rules and guidelines? And what is at stake? Here are some further thoughts on the matter by our legal experts from KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law.

The REVEAL team of KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law has been dealing with legal aspects throughout the duration of the project. Findings have been presented to the project partners for inclusion in their development work, summarised in various articles on this blog (you can access them all by clicking on the “legal issues” tag) and been presented in greater detail in respective project reports (so-called “Deliverables”, which are also accessible on this site).

Recently, the team of KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law published a few  articles of relevance on their own blog. Here, we summarise, present and link to some of them.

Pay good attention to Social Networks’ API Terms & Conditions

In the article “The perils of app development – compliance with API Terms & Conditions”, Aleksandra Kuczerawy discusses how cumbersome it can be to obey and comply with the frequently changing Terms & Conditions of social networks when one wants to use and analyse respective information. The post summarises the findings of REVEAL where we looked in particular at the API Terms & Conditions of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

One conclusion of Aleksandra Kuczerawy: “The lack of foreseeability of changes [in API Terms & Conditions] can of course threaten the existence of certain applications. Moreover, it forces developers to constantly re-assess the compliance of the applications with the updated rules.”

Even more drastic, and vital to remember, is Aleksandra’s final statement: “Not complying with the provided rules and restrictions set out in the API T&C is a sure way to the end of every great application.”

Source and full article: “The perils of app development – compliance with API Terms & Conditions”, by Aleksandra Kuczerawy. First published on 15 November 2016 on the KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law blog.

Legal implications of the filter bubble

In another article published on the KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law blog entitled “The Filter Bubble: to burst or to blow over?”, Ingrid Lambrecht investigates why a large part of American society was rather surprised or even shocked by the results of the US presidential elections in November 2016.

From a legal perspective, Ingrid argues, the election and the much talked-about filter bubbles are of specific interest as they “… raise legal concerns relating to fundamental rights of access to information, freedom of information, liabilities and transparency, data protection and behavioral profiling.”

You can read more about it all in the full article, in which Ingrid concludes with the following question: “Do we burst it or do we blow the bubble towards an implementation that is both useful and ethical?”

Source and full article: “The Filter Bubble: to burst or to blow over?” by Ingrid Lambrecht. First published on 29 November 2016 on the KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law blog.

Concerns about monitoring obligations in the proposed Copyright Directive

In September 2016, a group of academics signed an open letter to the European Commission entitled “On the Importance of Preserving the Consistency and Integrity of the EU Acquis Relating to Content Monitoring within the Information Society”. Then, in late November 2016, an additional brief exegesis of the proposed Copyright Directive was issued in the attempt to further clarify the problem.

In her article, Aleksandra Kuczerawy sheds light on the issue and updates on the current situation regarding various aspects surrounding this piece of legislation. In particular, Aleksandra outlines what the signatories of the open letter demand and urge the European Commission to do.

Source and full article: “Dear European Commission – academics express concern about monitoring obligations in the proposed Copyright Directive”, by Aleksandra Kuczerawy. First published on 1 December 2016 on the KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law blog.