Welcome to the first Issue of 2020 of the European Journal of Law and Technology. In this Issue, we present three original research articles and a book review. The first two articles build on papers presented at the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA) Annual Conference held at Queen's University, Belfast in April 2019.
Argyro Chatzinikolaou in 'Sexual images depicting children: the EU legal framework and online platforms' policies' reviews the EU legal and policy framework regulating online platforms' liability for the posting of sexual(ised) images of children, including consensual sexting. Through a review of popular online platforms' published policies, Chatzinikolaou highlights the 'better safe than sorry' strategy adopted by the intermediaries in response, it is argued, to an unclear legal and policy regime. Although this response may be understandable - and in practice online platforms may have no other choice - Chatzinikolaou argues that the approach raises considerable questions around children's agency and self-expression.
Róisín Costello in 'Conflicts between intellectual and consumer property rights in the digital market' explores the tensions between intellectual property rights and property rights, assessing the favouritism shown towards IPRs over other forms of property right in the digital age at a European level. Drawing on the rights enshrined within the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Costello examines the limitations and exclusions imposed on the transferability and use of property in the digital age. The author makes a compelling argument for enhancing and strengthening a rights-based approach to consumer protection under the EU Charter.
3D printing is a field that is becoming ever more important in our day-to-day lives. Annika Jones and James Griffin in their article '3D printing and the right to privacy: Proposals for a regulatory framework' discuss how privacy will have a role to play in relation to 3D printing, specifically focusing on their internationally renowned funded empirical research project. The project was funded by the AHRC, Newton Fund and Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau, and involved interviews with Chinese 3D printing companies. It involved a consideration of watermarking technologies, and how those could be used to technologically protect 3D printed content. The article considers the implication of those technologies, which have the potential to lead to the tracking and tracing of individuals use of 3D printed content, and proposes solutions to the issues raised.
Finally, in the book review section, Oles Andriychuk offers an insightful review of the book authored by Chris Reed and Andrew Murray, Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace (Edward Elgar 2018).
Kim Barker and Marion Oswald