Friday, October 12, 2007

ec electronic communications and competition law

My phd thesis is finally out as a book with Cameron May.

It's entitled "EC Electronic Communications and Competition Law" and in essence attempts to answer the question of whether generic competition law rules can be a sufficient and efficient regulator of the electronic communications sector.

I argue that this question needs to be examined not in the conventional contexts of sector specific rules versus competition rules or deregulation versus regulation but in a broader governance context. The reader is provided with an insight into the workings of the communications sector which is exposed as being network-bound, converging, dynamic and endowed with a special societal function. This together with the scrutiny of the underlying regulatory objectives paints the most comprehensive picture of the in the communications sector and allows for a nuanced answer to the above question, and ultimately, for the designing of multi-faceted, hybrid regulatory toolbox.

The enquiry is based on the European Community competition rules and the current communications regime but the conclusions drawn are applicable to other regulatory environments as well. Some insights are also of interest today in the context of the net neutrality discussions, or more generally with regard to the question of how the regulation of infrastructure influences content flows.

digital natives project

Here is a just brief note to pay attention to the very intriguing project of Urs Gasser and John Palfrey called Digital Natives. It is a collaborative undertakng of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen.
The project's objective is the obtainment of better understanding of the experience of those young people "born digital" with new digital media, such as the Internet, cell phones and related technologies. By gaining insight into how digital natives make sense of their interactions in this digital landscape, Urs and John want to address the issues these practices raise, learn how to harness the opportunities their digital fluency presents, and shape our regulatory and educational frameworks in a way that advances the public interest.
Key questions put forward are: (i) How do we take best advantage of the benefits of online identities while managing issues of privacy and safety? (ii) How can we envision intellectual property law that allows the exciting "rip, mix, burn" (and mash!) creativity and culture to thrive? (iii) How can we learn (and teach others) to best navigate the information overload we face in today's digital environment?
For more details, see Urs' blog where he elaborates further upon the fundamental ideas of the Digital Natives project on the occasion of the OECD-Canada Forum on the Participative Web that took place in Ottawa on 3 October 2007.
The broader context of the latter event is of specific interest to my own research of the changing digital media environment, including changing models of consumer and business behaviour, and their impact on governance models in general, and on the diversity of cultural expressions in particular.

Update 10 December 07: Here are some new thoughts of Urs and John on the ongoing book project shared with students at Harvard and St. Gallen.
And some comments by Henry Jenkins on what 'digital immigrants' are (may be).