UoL Library Blog

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Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and cloud computing

Posted by taniarowlett on 29 November, 2010

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the above named UKeiG course.    The day consisted of a full  programme jam packed with useful information, knowledge and anecdotes, all provided by Professor Charles Oppenheim in his usual engaging manner.

The morning focussed on IPR issues, both in relation to the ‘rights holder(s)’ of user generated content produced via Web 2.0 applications, but also the incorporation into such content of different types of 3rd party material, which of course is a completely separate but equally important issue. 

Charles helpfully directed us to the Web2Rights materials, which I have found useful in the past for their flowcharts and diagnostic tools, and tested us with a number of scenarios.  As I and my fellow participants were from a wide range of copyright/IPR/Web 2.0 technology backgrounds it we interesting to see that we were all fairly consistent with our responses/approaches to the issues raised. 

The most interesting sessions of the day for me were those covering the issues of defamation and data protection.  The increasing adoption of Web 2.0 technologies as part of educational engagement means content generators need to be aware of UK defamation law, and what can constitute libel, even if said in jest.  

Whilst many of us know the basics of the Data Protection Act (DPA), it might come as a surprise to those who have embraced cloud computing that personal data such as that covered by the act should not be moved outside the EEA, unless the recipient country has an ‘adequate’ level of protection themselves, and that data held in a ‘cloud’ is often moved around the world, albeit temporarily, to maximise system efficiency. 

It was a day that provided much food for thought, and I think it would be very easy to get weighed down in the detail and the intricacies of the Acts. However, in the first instance I think I shall just draw up some guidelines to include in my training materials!

One Response to “Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and cloud computing”

  1. The event I went to back in March, looking at repositories and the cloud, spent a lot of time talking about trans-national data issues. Quite a few people had been looking to offload the data from their repos overseas to hosted solutions (like Amazon and Google), but these trans-national rights issues had reared their heads. From memory I know one of the major data centres has Irish based server farms to answer just such a question.

    That aside, hopefully we can unpick and include some of the training from this event for our Copyright workshops in 2011; you can just bet there’ll be some interest (and doubtless not everyone will see eye-2-eye on the subject either I warrent!)

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