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JILT 2009 (2) - Editorial

In Transition: From Warwick to Belfast: From JILT to EJLT

This issue marks the ongoing transition of JILT publication from Warwick to Belfast. As you will note from the Call for Papers, we are also moving into new territory with the change of name from to the European Journal of Law and Technology. Our growing European dimension is acknowledged in another way. An essential role of JILT and EJLT is to provide resources for students all over the world. We are therefore happy to announce an association between JILT/EJLT and the EU sponsored LEFIS Law&ICT Shared Virtual Campus Project http://www.lawict.eu/ including its digital library located at http://zaguan.unizar.es/?ln=en.

Apart from this, we will keep you in suspense about the new name until the next issue, except to say that the geographical shift is one which cements the strong bonds between those involved at Warwick and in Belfast. In particular, as I infrequently let slip, Queen’s University of Belfast was where I started teaching law more than 40 years ago and among my teaching was a segment of the jurisprudence course on Computers and the Law. So in one sense JILT is going home.

I would also like to say thank you to Mizanur Rahaman, Sabrina Zheng and Paul Trimmer for their contributions to the success of the journal as well as previous members of the team. In particular, Mizan has somehow contrived to produce the journal inspite of enormous other calls on his time.

As with the last issue, this one signifies JILT’s global reach, but with increasing prominence to the rapid and important developments in China and East and South East Asia, without neglecting issues closer to home.

Equally significantly, they signify the variety in JILT’s authorship including significant representation of IT, Communications and Business studies as well as of law. It also includes a variety of As will be noted from the attached abstracts, the articles in this issue are significant for their emphasis on East and South East Asia with two articles dealing with China and two with Malaysia and Singapore.

The articles themselves, as the abstracts below signify, cover a wide variety of topics from intellectual property and piracy, to data protection, accessability, e-commerce and internet governance indicating the continuing vibrancy of the field.

Regulatory Compliance and Web Accessibility of UK Parliament Sites

Joanne M. Kuzma
Faculty of Computing, University of Worcester, UK
j.kuzma@worc.ac.uk

Abstract

This research seeks to review whether web accessibility and disability laws lead to strong compliance among UK e-government web sites. This study samples 130 sites of the UK members of Parliament using an online accessibility testing tool and determines if the site design complies with disability laws and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Awareness is raised about issues disabled users face when attempting to use UK e-government sites. A discussion of UK and international disability law is reviewed in light of web accessibilty: the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 and the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Disabled. Although these mandates aim to provide equality in access to web sites for people with disabilities, the results of this study show that total openness of these sites is not widespread and the mere existance of laws does not guarantee compliance.

Talking with Copyright Holders and Pirates: Grass Roots Voices Concerning Chinese Copyright Piracy of U.S. IP Products

Dr. Dexin Tian
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Dept. of Arts, English and Humanities
Louisiana State University at Alexandria
dexint@bgsu.edu or dtian@lsua.edu

Dr. Chin-Chung Chao
School of Communication
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
University of Nebraska at Omaha
chaoc@bgsu.edu or chinchuchao@unomaha.edu

Abstract

Through a thematic analysis of 45 in-depth interviews via the theoretical frameworks of the theory of reasoned action and culture change, this study explores the grass roots voices concerning Chinese copyright piracy of U.S. IP products in China. The study found that both the U.S. neglect of the Chinese historical heritage in terms of IPR protection and the traditional Chinese conceptions of private property account for the rampant copyright piracy in China. As the solutions to the issue, readjusted U.S. IPR policies and flexible IP product prices, sufficient media supervision and public education in China, and effective enforcement of IPR laws are suggested.

DRM Roll Please: Is Digital Rights Management Legislation Unconstitutional in Canada?

Emir Aly Crowne-Mohammed
Assistant Professor of Law
Faculty of Law
University of Windsor
emir@uwindson.ca

Yonatan Rozenszajn
Graduate of the Faculty of Law (class of 2009)
University of Windsor
Currently completing a Judicial Clerkship

Abstract

The authors argue that the Digital Rights Management (DRM) provisions of Bill C-61– Canada’s latest attempt at implementing its obligations under the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, inter alia– is ultra viresof Parliament’s enumerated powers, and unconstitutionally intrudes into the Provincial legislative sphere. The DRM provisions of Bill C-61 represent a poorly veiled attempt by the Government to strengthen the contractual rights available to copyright owners, in the guise of copyright reform and the implementation of Canada’s international obligations. Future iterations of Bill C-61 that do not take the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (and the overall scheme of the Act) into account would also likely to fail constitutional scrutiny.

Licensing and Retained Funds Regulation of Internet Third Party Payment Providers in China

Wen Li
PhD Candidate
Centre for Commercial Law Studies
Queen Mary University of London
liwen830409@hotmail.com

Abstract

As a newly emerging electronic payment instrument, Internet third party payment is becoming increasingly popular and influential in China and has attracted regulatory attention from the Chinese central bank -- People’s Bank of China. Aiming at broad international readership and policy makers, this article introduces working mechanisms of the Internet third party payment; discusses the crucial forthcoming Chinese legislation -- the ‘Measures of Management on Payment and Clearance Organisations’ in detail; and analyses the international aspects of the ‘Measures’ by taking into account of the market situation in China. Also, the article critically analyses two key legal aspects of the regulation of Internet third party payment provider in China -- licensing and retained funds regulation. It suggests that a more light regulation approach should be adopted in the licensing issues. Meanwhile, six points, such as liquidity, ownership and insolvency, relating to retained funds regulation are also examined in detail in the article.

Information sharing in e-government initiatives: Freedom of Information and Data Protection issues concerning local government

Luciano Batista
Lecturer in Operations Management
The Open University Business School
L.Batista@open.ac.uk

Marc Cornock
Lecturer in Law
The Open University Business School
M.A.Cornock@open.ac.uk

Abstract

In e-government initiatives, the sharing of information is crucial for empowering citizens and boosting joined-up services. The lack of clear guidance on how to share government data can potentially harm Freedom of Information and or Data Protection rights. This article addresses this issue by drawing from the main concerns governments have when dealing with Freedom of Information and Data Protection issues. As illustration, we comment on the findings of a case study we have conducted in a Local Authority in the United Kingdom (UK). Our findings show that local government managers might be struggling to adequately implement Freedom of Information and Data Protection aspects. Cultural aspects are subtly present in this context, as managers’ values and beliefs regarding public access to information might be biased toward either information disclosure or information withholding.

The Networked Electorate: The Internet and the Quiet Democratic Revolution in Malaysia and Singapore

Tang Hang Wu
Assistant Professor
Law School
National University of Singapore
lawthw@nus.edu.sg

Abstract

This paper is intended to be a contribution to the literature on claims of the democratising effect of the Internet. The paper begins by setting out the arguments and also critiques of claims of the democratising power of the Internet. In order to test the validity of these arguments, the author will undertake a comparative study of the impact of the Internet on recent general elections in Malaysia and Singapore. The study will demonstrate that in the case of Singapore, the Internet has merely exerted some pressure on the pre-existing laws and state-imposed norms governing free speech; in contrast, in Malaysia, the Internet was a major contributory factor to what has been described as a ‘political tsunami’ during the recent general election. In this comparative study, the author will attempt to explain why the impact of the Internet has been so different in both jurisdictions which share similar laws, culture and language. It will be suggested that, in spite of their similarities, the main reasons for this phenomenon are subtle but important differences in terms of legal, social, economic conditions and also the political climate in both jurisdictions. Despite this difference, the claim made in this paper is that the Internet, due to its evolving architecture, is beginning to generate important norms governing free expression which are capable of having an effect on the electorate. In both countries, the Internet connects individuals to become networks which in turn create powerful echo chambers which have or will ultimately strain the effectiveness of pre-existing laws and state-imposed norms governing free speech. It is also suggested that the recent events in Malaysia has inspired nascent Internet activism in Singapore which potentially may be of greater influence in future elections.

Credit Card Fraud and the Law:A Critical study of Malaysian perspective

Dr. Nehaluddin Ahmad
Principal Lecturer,
Faculty of Business and Law
Multimedia University, Malaysia
ahmadnehal@yahoo.com

Abstract

There is a significant need to understand the law that relates to credit cards, both civil and criminal, especially, in the context of ever increasing credit card frauds, and the way in which the civil law has contributed to it, and the insufficient way in which the criminal law has sought to combat it. It cannot be denied that credit card misuse is a global problem. It will also indicate some of the effects of such criminal misuse. The paper will explore the legal remedies and restitution under criminal legislation that exist against credit card fraud in Malaysia.

Book Review: The Future of Identity in the Information Society: Challenges and Opportunities, K Rannenberg, D Royer, A Deuker (eds.)

Reviewed by
Rowena Rodrigues
School of Law
University of Edinburgh

 
Director, Electronic Law Journals Project
University of Warwick
Abdul Paliwala