Skip to main content


EUI workshop – The Open Information Society: Where Are User Rights?

Posted on    by Kerry Patterson

EUI workshop – The Open Information Society: Where Are User Rights?

By 26 February 2018No Comments

As part of his Fernand Braudel Fellowship at the European University Institute, Prof. Martin Kretschmer is contributing to a workshop at the EUI on 27 and 28 February 2018.

Professor Peter Drahos is introducing the workshop “The Open Information Society: Where Are User Rights?”

If, as some theories of innovation claim, innovation has become more networked, user-centred, and democratic then rules and rights favouring users (and therefore diffusers) of information should be the dominant regulatory tool. Openness should also be a pre-eminent value since it is said to aid discovery, innovation, access rights, market efficiency and ultimately the functioning of democratic societies. Is this what we find?

The use of intellectual property rights as a regulatory tool over information objects and processes has deepened in terms of variety of rights, their depth and geographical spread. Users of information find that their interests, to the extent they are protected at all, emerge as interstitial modifications or qualifications within a structure based on exclusive rights in information. Uncertainty over the scope of exclusive rights creates a structural inegalitarianism in which users of information remain uncertain about its proprietary status. Within this paradigm openness as a value has arguably become more rhetorical than real. Publishers, for example, use it to justify the creation of royalty streams for academic works that, in effect, function as a form of double taxation on the public.

Should we be worried by the entrenchment of the exclusive rights paradigm for information? Was Schumpeter perhaps right to see monopoly as an intensifier of creative destruction in capitalism? Should legislatures be creating more express rights for users to replace the current ragtag of implied user rights, and exceptions and limitations on owners’ rights?

Sessions include:

Creative Industries: From Organization to Creative Disruption
Martin Kretschmer, Director of CREATe Centre, Glasgow University
IP over AI systems: issues for transparency and responsibility?
Giovanni Sartor

Open Access
18 years of Open Access initiatives: Academic Libraries now and then what?
Pep Torn, EUI
The interface between copyright governance and open access
Nikos Koutras, University of Antwerp
Considering Readers’ Demands and Expectations for Online Availability of Books – A Focus on Digital Natives
Argyri Panezi, EUI

Property Theory in the Information Society
Justice in IP: from sufficiency to non-domination
Johan Rochel, Ethik Zentrum, University of Zürich
Virtual Property: Towards a General Theory
Przemyslaw Palka, EUI

Data, ownership and rights of access
Hanns Ullrich, Max Planck Institute for Innovation Giorgio Monti, EUI
Maria Lillà Montagnani, Bocconi University

User Rights
Property Abandoned? Rights, Wrongs and forgetting Durkheim
Mark Findlay, Singapore Management University
Square peg, round hole: networked software innovation under a traditional IP licensing system.
Kasper Drazewski, EUI
Big Data and Database Rights. New legal and economic challenges
Valeria Falce, European University of Rome
Big Data, Consumers and ‘Dominance-by-abuse’: Strategies of Prevention
Gustavo Ghidini, Milan University and University of LUISS Guido Carli
The access of users to IP governance: a bittersweet story
Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Stockholm University, Fernand Braudel Fellow, EUI