Reviews are powerful marketing tools. From making dinner reservations to buying a new pair of shoes, I very rarely part with my hard-earned cash before checking out the ratings and comments online. I also follow quite a few restaurants, designers, photographers, and fitness bloggers on Facebook, and often see people leave reviews there, too. But what can a business actually do with those comments? And if you leave a review on a company’s Facebook page, what are your rights over what you’ve written?
For my final essay on the GDL (the law conversion course here in England), I chose to write on intellectual property law. I argued that legal uncertainty and lack of proper enforcement strategies results in fragmentation across the Member States. I earned a Distinction (75% UK) on the paper.
This essay (18 pages, double spaced) includes a brief synopsis of intellectual property right basics, followed by a justification of the European Union’s competency to legislate in this area. The third section contextualises the problem of copyright infringement on the internet, with a specific focus on online intermediary liability.
When I was in Germany several years ago, I attempted to play a music video on YouTube that I had first seen in the United Kingdom. It was blocked on copyright grounds. I wondered, if the European Union guarantees the free movement of goods and services between Member States (which the UK and Germany both are), how could Germany block access to music I could freely access back home in London?
This question inspired my Masters Thesis, which explored European copyright law in the context of digital music services. I even got to interview the head of licencing at Spotify as part of my research!