On Monday 28 June 2021, at 2 pm, the world-renowned and renowned conflict of laws expert Professor Dr Toshiyuki Kono will give a lecture on current developments at the interface of IPR and copyright. Prof. Toshiyuki Kono is professor and Executive Vice President of the Kyushu University in Fukuoka (Japan). His research interests include international enforcement of intellectual property rights and dispute resolution as well as the economic analysis of conflict of laws in this area. He is also Honorary President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which acts as an advisor to the World Heritage Committee at its meetings. More information via email@example.com
This new podcast in the ITM series J!Cast with Nico Gielen and Steffen Uphues (research assistants) is about the EU Commission’s draft Digital Markets Act. With the draft, the EU is pursuing the goal of creating an appropriate counterweight to the power of large internet platforms by regulating competition in digital markets. With a view to the ongoing legislative process, some proposals are made to sharpen and improve the current draft versions. In addition, possible effects on the German legal situation are highlighted.
The International AI Conference hosted by GOAL took place on April 8 and 9 2021. Due to the special circumstances caused by the corona crisis, it was held digitally. Both internal and external speakers discussed interesting issues revolving around the governance of algorithms.
The approximately 80 participants were first welcomed by Prof. Dr. Johannes Wessels, Rector of the WWU Münster, and Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren. Then Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sandra Wachter of the Oxford Internet Institute gave the opening lecture on how the extensive inequality and bias that characterise Western societies are inevitably embedded in the use of data for machine learning processes. In the Q&A session that followed, Prof. Wachter also emphasised that AI should become more equitable and unbiased than human decision-makers.
The lecture was then followed by Ass. Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal from the Munich Centre for Technology in Society at the Technical University of Munich. He spoke about how digital technologies would gradually reconfigure our democracy. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Katharina Zweig from the AAL at the University of Kaiserslautern spoke on the topic “Is Fairness by Unawareness fair?”. In addition to the question of whether protected characteristics should be included in decision-making processes, she used various practical examples to show how human discrimination is reflected in training data sets and affects ADM systems. The topics presented by Prof. Zweig and Prof. Djeffal were more comprehensively addressed by questions and suggestions from the participants.
After a short lunch break, Reuben Binns, Assoc. Professor of Human Centred Computing at Oxford University, spoke about the challenge it poses for regulators to undertake comprehensive investigations and enforcement actions against the harmful use of algorithms. Professor Binns also shed light on the use of algorithmic methods to guide and support regulatory efforts. Next, Hanna Hoffmann and Johannes Kevekordes from ITM argued in their presentation that the growing influence of algorithms on society makes it essential that citizens are able to understand and evaluate decisions that algorithms make for and about them. To this end, they shed light on the existence of a possible Right to Explanation in the GDPR and the possibilities and challenges for implementing such a right.
An exciting discussion was followed by Catharina Rudschies and Mattis Jacobs from the University of Hamburg, who reported on their recent research findings that ADM systems are best understood as dynamic and evolving socio-technical ecosystems. The final talk on the first day of the conference was given by Frank Pasquale, professor at Brooklyn Law School of the law of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning. He presented how algorithmic accountability has become a major concern for social scientists, computer scientists, journalists and lawyers over the last decade and gave some recent examples from the public debate on socially harmful behaviour of algorithmic systems.
At the end of the first day, Professor Frank Pasquale, Professor Sandra Wachter, Professor Joanna Bryson (Hertie School of Governance) and Dr. Fabian Niemann (Partner at Bird & Bird LLP) discussed the topic: “Transparency in algorithmic decisions” in a panel discussion. The discussion was moderated by Dr Nikolas Guggenberger (Yale Law School). The panelists debated, among other things, the opportunities and risks of AI, as well as the progress and hurdles that have existed for market participants from a data protection perspective since the GDPR came into force.
The second day started with a presentation by Dr. Christina Timko from the Ruhr University Bochum. She reported on their research into how app developers’ values and views harmonised with client expectations and market business models. For this purpose, they conducted interviews with software developers and explored how app developers perceive needs for governance, consumer protection and risks from applied behaviour management, including discrimination risks. Finally, they presented possible protection measures and alternative incentives and business models.
This presentation was followed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Linnet Taylor from the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society, who spoke about the concept of fairness in relation to AI, which could be applied in a formalised way through guidelines and technology regulation. This presentation triggered a lively question and discussion session among the participants. The main controversy was whether trustworthy AI can be created more effectively through normative or human-centred concepts (human-centred AI).
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Joanna Bryson from the Hertie School in Berlin spoke in her lecture about what she sees as an untruth in the political discourse on AI regulation: that AI is necessarily opaque. In fact, she said, artificial intelligence is not necessarily more opaque than natural intelligence; in fact, AI can be made far more transparent by design. She shed light on the technological, sociological and economic barriers to transparency, how these are influenced by AI and the digital revolution, and what governance policies should be used to counter it. Dr Carsten Orwat from Karlsruhe University – ITAS then addressed challenges associated with risk regulation of AI and ADM in his presentation.
The lunch break was followed by the presentation of Andrew Burt, Managing Partner at bnh.ai, a boutique law firm focusing on AI and analytics, and Chief Legal Officer at Immuta. He spoke about the profound privacy and security gaps in AI systems and the three implications of this trend that are not immediately obvious, which he summarised as follows: “1. Privacy is dead. 2. so is trust. 3. and you are not who you think you are.”. In the concluding discussion round, the participants mainly discussed the proposals presented to counteract the effects of the data protection and security gaps and also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the GDPR.
The contributions from the project partners and external speakers, as well as the controversial discussions, gave the participants some new impulses and detailed insights into the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence. Above all, the differentiated perspectives of the participants in the course of the international dimension of the conference opened up new perspectives and broadened horizons. Already during the conference, some of the experts agreed on further exchanges in the future.
The GOAL team would like to take this opportunity to thank: the BMBF and DLR for making the event possible; all speakers for their exciting presentations; the participants in the panel discussion for the lively debate; and all conference participants who enriched the event with their interested questions and contributions to the discussion.
A detailed conference report can be found here.
Video recordings of individual lectures can be found here on the GOAL Youtube channel.
You can listen to a report by Deutschlandfunk in the programme Computer und Kommunikation in the programme of 10 April 2021 (topic: “Machtfrage: Wenn künstliche Intelligenz über Menschen entscheiden”) here.
On 04 May 2021 from 12:00 to 13:00, Mr Anton Frey will give a lecture on Zoom on the topic of “Abuse period in patent infringement proceedings”. He did his doctorate under Prof. Hoeren on this topic and has now been working as a legal trainee at the Berlin Court of Appeal since November 2020.
In his lecture, Mr Frey will present the legal institution of the period of limitation in patent infringement proceedings and, in doing so, shed light on the topic of his dissertation, in particular from a practical perspective. To this end, he will start by discussing the much-discussed case constellations of injunctive relief in complex products, in ambush situations and in the case of legitimate interests of third parties. In this context, Mr Frey would also like to deal with the government draft of a Second Act on the Simplification and Modernisation of Patent Law (RegE-2. PatModG), which focuses on a possible legal amendment of the patent law injunctive relief of Section 139 (1) PatG. Registration is possible until 28 April 2021 with Oliver Lampe by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Subsequently, the access data for Zoom will be sent out.
The additional training in information, telecommunication and media law at ITM Münster will start again in the winter semester. Anyone who is interested in legal issues related to artificial intelligence, blockchain and legal tech is in good hands at the additional training. Professor Dr Thomas Hoeren and Professor Dr Bernd Holznagel will provide insights into current developments in information law as well as broadcasting and press law. Final exams are held online for both Zoom lectures in the winter semester, followed by an elective seminar in the summer semester. Successful graduates receive a certificate, which is very popular in the media industry and the legal profession.
The additional training is free of charge and is open to students from all universities as well as trainee lawyers. For further information, please contact Aurelia Merbecks email@example.com.
The seminar Journalism and Law, like so many events this year, saw itself threatened by the pandemic. An event that under normal circumstances thrives on communicative and direct exchange between participants and lecturers could not take place online. Nevertheless, Prof. Hoeren’s chair decided to give it a try and invited participants from all over the country to a digital event. How excellent this decision would be was not yet foreseeable at 9 a.m. on 8 March 2021, but it would become clear in the following three days.
By Christoph Clemen
When Lennart Rödel boots up his laptop on a cold Monday morning in March, he still has to shake the last of the sleep from his limbs, but the anticipation of the upcoming seminar quickly ties him to his desk chair. After opening the wrong link from the email, he makes it to the Zoom conference shortly before 9 am. Prof. Hoeren, the organiser of the event, begins his welcoming speech. In a flash, a cascade of faces rolls across the screen. The participants have switched on their cameras. For Lennart, who in reality has a different name, as for his 24 fellow participants, a seminar begins that could not be more instructive and informative.
Just like him, all the participants experienced the days from 8 to 10 March. Not at the ITM, but at the desks and in the living rooms of this country, the journalist training for lawyers took place.
After a short introduction by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren, the participants received rhetorical training. The practised rhetoric teacher had the bright listeners prepare short presentations on selected topics. For this, they were given one hour, which resulted in a twelve-minute lecture. After a few brave ones had wiped the first sweat from their foreheads, they gave their presentations. These turned out to be colourful in style. Prof. Hoeren and the rest of the audience then gave constructive criticism. The participants learned that even in the 21st century, Cicero is the measure of all things for a good lecture.
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Joachim Jahn, member of the editorial board of the NJW and former editor in the business department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, gave an exciting insight into print journalism in daily newspapers and trade journals. In the process, Prof. Jahn focused on the correct way of expressing oneself. He practised with the participants how to avoid typical legal phrases that often make it difficult for the reader to read. The great interest of the participants was already evident here. Prof. Jahn answered all questions about his profession and the correct way of writing.
The thematically perfect transition was then provided by Karin Istel, personal advisor to the Hamburg school senator. In her lecture “Say it simply, anyone can do complicated”, she explained which style rules the young lawyers have to pay attention to when writing a journalistic essay. It remained in the memory that one should always consider a “kiss” when writing. In doing so, Ms. Istel did not want to start an advertising block for an Italian confectionery manufacturer, but referred to the abbreviation “KISS”. The principle “keep it short and simple” is the starting point of all good writing, she said.
As a crowning conclusion to the first day, Alexander Rupflin, freelance reporter and former participant of the seminar, reported on his experiences. He taught the participants about his career, shedding light on both his professional and emotional commitment, which is reflected in the means of presentation of his choice – (court) reportage. Especially due to the close proximity in time to the field of participants, he was able to answer the ensuing hail of questions with flying colours and thus quenched everyone’s curiosity.
On Tuesday, Anke Zimmer-Helfrich, editor-in-chief, and Ruth Schrödl, editor, from the C.H.Beck publishing house, presented their everyday work in the editorial office. Afterwards, it was up to the participants to design their own legal journal. In order to develop a contemporary journal, the young lawyers came up with concepts such as erNeuerbar, Justitia, EiS, Klecks and Recht*Divers. Topics ranging from international court decisions, renewable energies and youth to diversity were legally framed. Afterwards, there was a discussion and Ms Zimmer-Helfrich and Ms Schrödl were able to give insights into their daily work. Political questions were also lively discussed.
At the end of the second day, the participants were able to listen to Dr. Wulf Schmiese, head of the editorial department of “heute-journal” on ZDF. He emphasised the correct classification of work in public broadcasting. He literally burned into the participants’ minds how important good research is and how seldom mistakes happen if one strictly adheres to one’s own guidelines. In an exciting and informative way, he punctuated his report with anecdotes, such as his reporting trip to Afghanistan at the beginning of this century. The questions that followed were complex and were answered patiently by Dr. Schmiese. A little late, but with their thirst for knowledge satisfied, the participants were then dismissed. Despite everything, the heute-journal took place punctually at 9.45 pm.
On Wednesday, Rudolf Porsch, deputy director of the Axel Springer Academy, showed possible paths into journalism. This was extremely informative for many participants who are on the edge of starting a career and deciding “law and/or journalism”. Digitalisation is changing journalism and training. The Axel Springer Academy is a pioneer in this. Mr Porsch made it clear that you have to specialise in order to be successful: “Universal dilettantism is deadly for your career”. The subsequent discussion then focused on important career issues that were burning under the fingernails of the participants.
Ina Reinsch, editor of ARZT & WIRTSCHAFT and freelance journalist, then presented the feature as a form of presentation between report and reportage. After she had given a theoretical classification of the feature, she explained together with the participants how to implement the feature in practice. In doing so, she emphasised that the feature makes the experience of an individual as a proxy for general events comprehensible. At the same time, it offers an exciting introduction to a highly informative topic. New forms of presentation then led to new questions, which Ms Reinsch answered very precisely.
Dr. Ina Holznagel, former senior public prosecutor and now head of department at the Ministry of Justice in North Rhine-Westphalia, explained to the group what difficulties the public prosecutor’s office has to overcome in press relations. After she had explained the legal basis, those present were allowed to try their hand at tricky press enquiries. The question of whether the nationality of suspects should be made public was then the subject of a lively discussion among the participants.
In the last substantive part, the group was able to enjoy a familiar face. Prof. Jahn honoured the participants again. To deepen what they had learned, the group could try their hand at revising a failed press release in the famous “Emmely case”. Prof. Jahn then gave constructive criticism of the original and the reworded press releases. From this, the participants were able to draw valuable assistance for their future writing.
The seminar ended with the awarding of certificates. No one was left with unanswered questions. Every participant learned a lot and can now get a more accurate picture of the countless professional fields in which law and journalism are linked.
What was experienced could then be discussed and processed in a relaxed Zoom round in the evening. This gave the participants the opportunity to network.
Lennart, like many of his fellow participants, fell into bed late on Wednesday evening. His thoughts were still circling around the last few days. He was tired, but very satisfied. A variety of opportunities had come his way this week. Whether his path will lead him into journalism or into the legal profession remains to be seen. What is certain is that he now knows both paths.
The ITM would like to thank Prof. Dr Joachim Jahn, Karin Istel, Alexander Rupflin, Anke Zimmer-Helfrich, Ruth Schrödl, Dr Wulf Schmiese, Rudolf Porsch, Ina Reinsch and Dr Ina Holznagel.
On 02 and 03 March 2021, the lectures of the participants of the seminar on film law took place under the direction of Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren from ITM-Münster. A broad spectrum of economic and legal topics on feature films and documentaries were in the foreground of the detailed lectures and subsequent discussions.
The event began with two lectures on the German and global documentary film market. In addition to the key economic data, it was pointed out in particular that mostly a few successful documentary films are responsible for a large part of the respective annual turnover of the entire genre. The studies presented also showed a large discrepancy within the audience distribution compared to the respective genre. Especially those genres that released the most films showed only a small share of visitors (society, biography, contemporary history). On the other hand, there are genres (especially nature & animals, music) that publish only a few films but have a large share of visitors. In a comparative law section, the differences between German, French and English copyright law were also presented and examined with regard to their respective advantages and disadvantages for the producers of documentaries.
The following lecture dealt with the question of the conditions under which films can claim copyright protection. In particular, it was pointed out to what extent factual documentaries – which had only limited protection under earlier case law – can now be fully recognised as cinematographic works. In an outlook, the growing importance of smartphone filming was also presented and it was shown that such recordings can also be protected by copyright.
Using the example of a television contract, the subsequent lecture was devoted to the control of general terms and conditions in film contract law. Special attention was paid to the question of the extent to which essential copyright principles can be regulated differently by general terms and conditions. In addition, an assessment of so-called total buy-out clauses was carried out under the law of general terms and conditions. This concerns contractual clauses which grant comprehensive rights in return for a lump sum payment – but which entail the risk of an unreasonable share for authors. In the conclusion and the subsequent discussions, possible solutions for existing inequalities were also discussed.
On the question of whether a film idea is already protected by copyright or only the finished screenplay, the next lecture examined the principles of freedom of ideas. This was followed by the difficult demarcation between idea and concrete form, as well as the significance of fables and characters already expressed in the idea. In addition to copyright law, the importance of trade secrets and competition law for the protection of ideas was also presented. Finally, it was shown under which conditions third-party works can become the basis for new film ideas and what changes will result here from the new Copyright Directive.
Film titles often contribute significantly to the recognition value of a film – which makes it all the more important for producers to protect these titles from misuse. Whereas copyright law imposes strict requirements on originality and design level for protection, protection as a trade mark is already possible if the title has a low degree of distinctiveness. The lecture will go into detail on the possibilities of defence resulting from the respective protection systems and will present the relationship between copyright and trade mark law by means of illustrative examples.
Especially in feature films, the goal of creating an illusion of reality is in the foreground – in order to achieve this, the use of film music plays an elementary role. In a vividly presented lecture, the different types of film music are described and categorised in terms of their dramaturgical significance. However, the use of film music is accompanied by many legal questions: In addition to the copyright protection of the music itself, the lecture also deals with the influence of collecting societies. Finally, the relationship between film and music authors – especially in the field of new media – is addressed.
The following two lectures dealt with the complex question of the use of other people’s works and presented the conditions under which these can be implemented in films. To this end, the special significance of the right of citation was first elaborated and it was shown how its preconditions have changed over time as a result of groundbreaking case law. Through illustrative examples, it will also be explained which quotation purposes can justify a film quotation and to what extent such a quotation is permissible. The second lecture presents the legal situation of the remix in film as a special type of use of other people’s works. The remix as a generic term encompasses a variety of different forms of use, all of which have a great influence on artistic freedom – but at the same time also affect the interests of the original authors of the work. The lecture will show to what extent copyright law creates a balance of interests here with a view to current case law. However, the new Copyright Directive (DSM Directive) will also result in changes here, which will be presented in an outlook by comparing them with the previous legal situation.
Documentary films in particular usually show true events, but often focus on the circumstances of natural persons and use their likenesses. The lecture examines the possibilities of film authors to protect the personal rights of the persons portrayed in the film. For this purpose, guidelines will be developed on the basis of case law, on the basis of which the conflicting legal interests can be reconciled and the risks of violations of personality rights can be minimised.
The last lecture deals with technical protective measures that authors can take to prevent copyright infringements. First, their significance for the media industry will be presented, before the requirements that copyright law places on such measures will be examined. The focus of the lecture is on the far-reaching conflict between the economic and idealistic interests of authors on the one hand and the interests of the general public in free information, art, culture and science on the other.
The lectures can be seen at https://youtu.be/Ovr_0DCW–g
On 18.02.2021, the third internal expert talk took place with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nadezda Purtova. Ms. Purtova is an Associate Professor at the Department of Law, Technology, Markets and Society at Tilburg University. Her research focuses on the economic analysis of data protection law and she has conducted several policy studies on data protection that dealt with the role of private actors in setting data protection rules.
Ms. Purtova gave a very captivating presentation on the topic of “Code as personal data”. After she put forward the thesis that the notion of personal data in the sense of Art. 4 No. 1 GDPR would encompass certain types of codes, she showed what the consequences of this would be and how to deal with them.
Following the presentation, Ms. Purtova and the project partners had a lively discussion about the individual proposals. In the process, it was determined that code should not be examined solely against the background of the GDPR, but rather that a comprehensive AI regulatory approach should be developed. Hanna Hoffmann (research assistant ITM-GOAL) moderated the event.
On Monday, 25 January 2021, Mr Yannick Borutta gave a webinar on intellectual property issues of artificial intelligence at the invitation of the ITM. Mr Borutta is a member of the BMBF research project Goal, Governance through algorithms. In front of around 250 participants, he reported on patent law protection problems with AI tools and AI results. In the second part, he presented the special problems of copyright law for such products and discussed them with the participants. The participants from business, the legal profession and the student body took an active part in the discussion, making the one-hour web seminar a complete success.