• Heidi Härkönen succesfully defends her doctoral dissertation 'Fashion and Copyright: Protection as a Tool to Foster Sustainable Development'

    15.9.2021 10:30

    Protecting fashion designs by copyright has been challenging. This has enabled large-scale copying of designs, which in turn has contributed to 'fast fashion' – a phenomenon that causes damage to the environment, human rights and cultural values. In her doctoral dissertation in the field of law, Heidi Härkönen states that copyright is one of the several legal means at our disposal to foster sustainable development of fashion.

    LTDT Group Member Heidi Härkönen successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on Friday, 10 September 2021. Professor Rosa Maria Ballardini (University of Lapland, LTDT Director) acted as the custos. Professor Katja Weckström from the University of Eastern Finland and Professor Eleonora Rosati from Stockholm University acted as opponents.

    Read more about Heidi's research in the dissertation release. The full dissertation is available at the institutional repository of the University of Lapland, Lauda.

    Heidi Härkönen: Fashion and Copyright: Protection as a Tool to Foster Sustainable Development. Acta electronica Universitatis Lapponiensis 311, ISSN 1796-6310, ISBN 978-952-337-265-8.
    Permanent link: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-337-265-8

  • Regional Council of Lapland grants ERDF funding for the LappiSat project

    10.6.2021 13:00

    The Regional Council of Lapland has granted funding from the European Regional Development Fund for the LappiSat project. The funding decision was made in April. The project aims at constructing an aurora satellite intended for scientific exploration, and will run between 1.1.2021 and 31.3.2023.

    The project is headed by University of Oulu, namely the Geophysical Observatory in Sodankylä. At the University of Lapland, The Institute of Air and Space Law as well as the LTDT Research Group will participate by exploring the legal ramifications of operating satellites from Finland.

    Contact persons at the University of Lapland:

    Lotta Viikari (professor public international law)
    Mikko T. Huttunen (postdoctoral scholar)

    (E-mail addresses: firstname.surname@ulapland.fi)

  • The project Education network for automated and connected transport for sustainable cities (ENACT) was granted to our research group members in December 2021!

    1.2.2021 15:32

    The project Education network for automated and connected transport for sustainable cities (ENACT) was granted to our research group members in December 2021!

    ENACT is a Consortium led by Tampere University and involving several Finnish institutions of higher education, members of the RAAS (Rethinking Autonomy and Safety) network. The ENACT project is funded by The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and it will run between 1.12.2020 and 31.7.2023. For more information, see https://autonomous.fi/new-accepted-projects/ .

    Contact persons at ULap:

    Ballardini, Rosa (Project PI)
    Salami, Emmanuel Project coordinator)
    Huttunen, Mikko (Project participant)

    (All e-mail addresses: firstname.surname@ulapland.fi)

  • Juha Vesala appointed as co-director of IPR University Center

    23.10.2020 13:40

    Juha Vesala from the University of Lapland, a member of the LTDT research group, and Tuomas Mylly from the University of Turku have been appointed as co-directors of the IPR University Center.

    IPR University Center (ipruc.fi) is a joint institute of six Finnish universities and is hosted by Hanken School of Economics. Its activities are sponsored by the IPR University Center Association. Member Universities are Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki, University of Turku, Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland and University of Lapland.

    Juha Vesala and Tuomas Mylly's term as co-directors starts on 1 November 2020 and ends at the end of 2025. Congrats!

    More info (in Finnish): https://iprinfo.fi/uutiset/ipr-university-centeriin-kaksi-uutta-johtajaa/.

  • Emmanuel Salami's half-way doctoral defense

    19.10.2020 13:30

    The half-way review of LTDT group member Emmanuel Salami's Ph.D. project will take place on November 13th, 2020, 14.00-16.00 via Microsoft Teams.

    The opponent will be Professor Burkhard Schafer from the University of Edinburgh.

    Participation link (Microsoft Teams)

    About Emmanuel Salami's Ph.D. project:


    BACKGROUND: This article-based research examines the relationship between data protection and intellectual property law in the use of AI. In ascribing IP rights to AI, non-personal data may be re-identifiable thereby making data protection law applicable. Based on these concerns, the research considers the possibility of revisiting the definition of personal data and its effectiveness in the age of AI.

  • Academy of Finland funding for SHARE project

    15.9.2020 9:40

    The Academy of Finland has granted funding to the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland for the consortium research project ‘Shaping, Fixing and Making Markets via IPR: Regulating Sustainable Innovation Ecosystems (SHARE)’. The SHARE project received funding for 560.000 euro in total, of which 280.000 euros goes to the University of Lapland, Faculty of Law. The project is a consortium between the Helsinki University/Faculty of Law (Prof. Taina Pihlajarinne/project PI and Prof. Jukka Mähönen/sub-project PI) and the University of Lapland/Faculty of Law (Associate Prof. Rosa Maria Ballardini/sub-project PI).

    The SHARE project explores the emerging need for embedding ‘strong’ environmental sustainability in the IPR- and finance-related regulation of the innovation ecosystem of sustainable technologies, like climate change mitigation technologies. We critically assess the role of IP and finance laws in creating incentives for developing and promoting diffusion of sustainable innovations via closely looking into three main stages of the CCMTs’ innovation ecosystem: 1) financing (market shaping), 2) regulating the process (market fixing), and 3) sharing, licensing and transferring (market making) the innovations. Overall, SHARE will develop a comprehensive academic study, comprising also of concrete recommendations, for how Europe could lead the transformation towards a more sustainable market economy.

    The project starts in September 2020.

  • Membership in the Research Alliance for Autonomous Systems (RAAS)

    14.9.2020 17:00

    On 24th of August 2020 the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland became a member of the (Finnish) Research Alliance for Autonomous Systems (RAAS). The Faculty, and in particular the LTDT Research Group, will participate in the Legal RTF of the Alliance.

    More information about RAAS can be found at https://autonomous.fi/.

  • Program for Online Workshop "Measures to Contain and Prevent the Covid-19"

    11.5.2020 17:40

    The Law, Technology and Design Thinking Research Group is hosting an online workshop concerning privacy and the Covid-19 situation, under the title "Measures to Contain and Prevent the Covid-19: A Comparative Analysis of their Effects on the Fundamental Rights of Privacy".

    Due to the pandemic spread of the Covid-19 virus almost every state in the world has taken measures to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. Although the measures and the implementation of the rules differ throughout Europe (and the world) the basics of the measures are very comparable.

    The goal of the Workshop is to compare the measures taken thus far in some European States, namely Finland, Italy, Poland, Germany and The Netherlands and analyse them based on their effects and legitimacy in respect to the restriction of fundamental rights, privacy and data protection.

    Speakers include professor Monica Palmirani (University of Bologna, Italy) and LTDT group members. The workshop will be held online (via Microsoft Teams) on Wednesday, May 27th, 15:0016:30.

  • Column: A corona tracking app, the end of privacy?

    8.4.2020 9:55

    A column by Rob van den Hoven van Genderen, Professor of Practice at Ulap/Faculty of Law .

    Does the coronavirus also erode fundamental rights and civil liberties?

    In China, it was expected that the already established social credit system would be used to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The citizens were followed via ‘track & trace’, the extensive camera system, temperature sensors, drones and the ‘we chat’ application on smartphones. If the body temperature was too high, action was taken, people in the vicinity of that person were warned and taken into isolation. In addition, all citizens are followed to see whether they adhere to the proclaimed rules of conduct. Violations are subject to severe penalties. This system has been adopted to a greater or lesser extent in Israel and South Korea. I do not know the situation in North Korea, but a strict regime will probably apply here, although there is probably a lesser degree of ‘smartphonization’ there. In Germany, a debate is going on in the parliament to follow smartphones by the government, whereby the choice is given to the citizen whether or not to use the app. A study by the University of Oxford developed mathematical models that can be used to map people's movements and encounters with other people. In this way, people can be warned and the government can gain a better insight into the distribution of coronavirus and can adjust its measures accordingly. Nothing new for the Chinese. Google has released the movement data of the logs of users (Google apps such as timeline, tracks or coach). I don't remember giving permission for that.

    In Europe a research group called Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) is working on a pan European tracking app based on blue tooth vicinity comparable with tracking apps in China, South Korea, Singapore and India, although it should take privacy requirements into account. But even pseudonymizised data can be analysed to be identifiable with the right algorithm.[1] And if all people have to have this app (and a smartphone) there also will be ample opportunity for cyber criminal to use these data if not severly secured!

    In the Netherlands, the so-called ‘outbreak team’ also seems to advise that citizens be followed through the movements recorded by mobile phones. Perhaps also useful to switch on the camera and microphone remotely so that the government is informed about how the citizen experiences the measures - and whether the criticism can be suppressed!

    It will not come to that. After all, the GDPR does not allow this... But if the needs be, Article 6 gives some possibilities by mentioning grounds for processing without permission of the data subject, namely in the interest of the vital interest of the subject or third parties or the public interest. And if that does not give enough ground for action there always is the last resort for a state to declare the state of emergency (Japan, Israel, USA, etc.), in the context of protecting public health, in which case the GDPR no longer applies in its entirety.

    In some countries, as for instance Hungary the corona-crises is already misused to extend the powers of government, in this case president Orban, to set aside the involvement of the national parliament.

    Fundamental rights can be restricted by the government on the basis of Article 23 of the GDPR. Without taking that as a fundamental restriction, still freedom of movement of persons, free trade and even freedom of expression can be limited in these circumstances. The government is also keeping a tight rein on the provision of information by the government to citizens. The government provides limited information about the course of infections, patients healed and the effects of the disease on the physical and psychological state of the citizen.

    In addition, there is journalistic self-censorship. In an interview as an expert by experience with a representative of the paper media, I indicated that there are indeed physical effects on the respiratory system and heart function after direct cure of the virus. After consultation by the journalist of an undisclosed out-of-hours GP post, the journalist was advised by the out-of-hours GP post not to publish anything about this, as this type of message would increase the fear among the citizens.

    So preferably no important information about the negative aspects after healing. No, instead there are positive figures about the number of IC patients and those who died, which helps to promote a positive spirit among the population. And still no figures on healings and positive effect of immunity.

    And how long will it take before this (fictional) state of emergency continues in the various countries? Will camera surveillance, telephone track & trace, temperature sensors, deployment of drones, etc. be lifted with the (temporary) disappearance of the virus?

  • Workshop on Games, Law, and Society

    17.1.2020 11:42

    The LTDT Research Group will organize a workshop on Games, Law, and Society on February 11th, 2020, from 13:15 onwards in Lecture Hall 16. The workshop can also be attended remotely via AC. Participants from all faculties with an interest in games of all kinds are welcome!

    Please click here for the program, including speakers and schedule.

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