Monday, September 21, 2009

Gikii IV Amsterdam 2009

I had the privilege of attending the Gikii IV conference, on the intersections between law, technology and popular culture, at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) in Amstersdam last week. As ever with Gikii it was a thoroughly thought-provoking, engaging and entertaining couple of days and all of the presentations were terrific. Gikii is possibly unique in the conference calendar in that there has never been a dud paper. My own minor contributions aside, every Gikii presentation over the past four years, even and especially when it has been testing some wild ideas on a group of professional peers and friends, has been excellent.

Highlights for me this year were Bernt Hugenholtz's succinct outline of the consequences of the Google Book settlement for Europe, Richard Jones's enlightening story of 'intelligent' electronic tags, Andrés Guadamez on Luddism 2.0, Peter Yu's hilarious contribution on the evolution of intellectual property, Chris Marsden on the politics of net neutrality and TJ McIntyre on the increasing push for legal and technical filters to protect children from the web.

Chris, Andrés and Peter deserve a special mention for not just carrying the toughest slot in the schedule - after lunch on the second day - but really grabbing the audience and stimulating the debate. In addition TJ's meticulously researched paper in the final session of the conference rounded the whole conference off on a high.

Mathias Klang, whose own terrific contribution 'Strangelove and salami: an illustration of the unintended consequences of technical solutions', came in the opening session of the conference on Thursday has offered to host Gikii V at the University of Gothenburg next year.

When the papers and presentations go up on the Gikii website I'll fill in the links here but in the meantime many thanks to all the Gikii goers and organisers, particularly Joris van Hoboken, Lilian Edwards, Andrés Guadamuz and Ian Brown for another terrific two days.

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