The MAPPING project concluded its first year at the end of February 2015! The project aims to create an all-round common understanding of the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large. MAPPING specifically investigates and debates the existing innovation policies, business models and legal framework related to the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the changes needed to set up an improved governance structure for the EU innovation ecosystem.
From the MAPPING blog
"With a realistic assessment it becomes clear that neither Europe, the US nor China will be able to control the complete technology stack required to run the Internet. The provenance of equipment is complex: designed by Apple, manufactured by Foxconn, shipped by a European company, with apps from all over the world.
The viable path is focusing on the most important areas relevant to trust and privacy. A Shengen Net relying on improved security of key components and availablity of identity services would have a significant better cost/benefit ratio compared to the network routing control."
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First year of MAPPING in review
The launching year of 2014 was rich and busy for the MAPPING consortium. The core idea of the project is to mobilise a wide spectrum of stakeholders and major actors and to get them involved in an informed discussion on the three complementary focus areas: Privacy, Intellectual Property Rights and Internet Governance. This process was launched at the Extraordinary General Assembly in Rome (IT) in May 2014. In September 2014 the discussion was taken to a larger audience at the 9th Annual Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul (TR) where MAPPING was introduced through a Round Table entitled „Alternative Routes to Protecting Human Rights on the Internet“. MAPPING’s dialogue activities intensified further between September 2014 and February 2015 through coordinated and comparative consultations with stakeholders, by means of Focus Group discussions, organised by the project partners in their respective countries and in Brussels.
Thematic activities on Privacy, Intellectual Property Rights and Internet Governance continue
Another event of the MAPPING Round Table series was organised by the Institute for Legal Informatics of the Leibniz University of Hanover (IRI LUH) covering the topic of "Privacy, Personality & Business Models". The two-day stakeholder meeting on current business models took place in Hanover (DE), February 11-12, 2015. Various experts from academia and the private sector shared their views on topics like technical and legal aspects of cryptography, antivirus standards, IT security legislation and new business models. “Seemingly distant presentations in fact showed how interconnected these topics are when it comes to privacy”, Prof. Nikolaus Forgó, Head of the IRI LUH, commented at the conclusion of the event.
Intellectual Property Rights
One more Round Table in our series during this period titled “Open Innovation in the Proprietary World” was organised on March 19, 2015. Representatives of the MAPPING consortium and other key stakeholders from around the world met in Geneva (CH) and discussed the impact of the current EU IPR protection regime on innovation and economic growth as well as the future of Open Innovation in the proprietary world. Questions that were discussed included:
- Are Open Innovation approaches viable and competitive in today's proprietary world?
- Can business models based on Open Source and Creative Commons concepts be sustainable?
- Does the future look bright for Open Knowledge initiatives?
- Can Open Innovation be a driver of economic development?
One of the speakers, Ms. Julia Reda, the co-founder of the European Parliament’s Digital Agenda Intergroup and the rapporteur for the review of the 2001 Copyright Directive, advocated a European copyright that is adapted to the digital era, easy to understand and enables a free exchange of culture and knowledge across borders.
Oleksandr Pastukhov from the University of Malta and the work package leader of this theme in the MAPPING project, explained that; “The old rule ‘innovate or perish’ is still valid but in today’s increasingly open world, innovation has to go open too and that means sharing: sharing with the world, sharing with customers, sharing even with competitors”.
This Round Table was supported online by remote participants representing a wider stakeholder community. You can still access videos and pictures from the event here.
For the thematic issue Internet Governance (IG), three Technical and Legal Working Parties were organised respectively in Berlin (DE) (Technical) on November 12-13, 2014; in Paris (FR) (Legal) on December 15-16, 2014; and in Washington DC (USA) (Technical and Legal) on March 23-25, 2015.
The meeting in Berlin was a technical meeting attended by approximately 20 people from Europe and the USA. This WP4 Technical Working Party Round Table was designed to enable a small group of specialists to undertake the first in-depth discussions on this theme. Primarily, they discussed the technical realities underlying the notions and options of “parallel universes” on the Internet, alongside other technical solutions to better protect personal data and privacy that are at present a priority of the EU policy making and public concern following Snowden’s revelations. These matters were further discussed during the first Legal Working Party meeting in Paris. This meeting focused on legal innovations and legal solutions such as a new multilateral treaty. Participants discussed the variables of having different layers of the Internet, defined not only by the technical scope of connected networks, but also the related jurisdictional issues. The Washington DC Meeting was a combined WP4 Working Party Meeting (Technical and Legal) to undertake the second set of in-depth discussions within the MAPPING project. Here, participants reflected on the technical and legal realities underlying the notions and options of “parallel universes” on the Internet, as well as the feasibility of other legal instruments which may be developed further to improve Internet Governance. All three sessions were led by Joe Cannataci, Overall Scientific Coordinator of MAPPING.
Policy Observatory launched
A major outcome of the MAPPING project, the MAPPING Policy Observatory, was launched in December last year. The core of this “policy watch” activity is the monitoring of policies and projects related to links between Internet and society at European, national and local level. It is based on a participatory and multidisciplinary approach, taking into account and valorising the points of view and positions of the different actors involved. The aim of the Observatory is not to replicate or duplicate existing work, but rather to gather, organize and systematize publicly available information related to the main policy topics of the MAPPING project. The observatory offers a synthetic view of policy matters related to the three MAPPING focus areas (Privacy, Intellectual Property Rights and Internet Governance). The Observatory also allows free re-use of information produced and much more.
For further information please contact the website editor ApTI (RO) at observatory /at/ mappingtheinternet.eu.
In the upcoming year the MAPPING consortium plans to pursue further dialogue online and offline, enabling an even wider range of relevant actors and stakeholders to come together in a multidisciplinary environment where “research meets practice” in order to tackle the most pressing issues of the “digital transition”.
The next major project event is planned for Autumn 2015: the consortium will be organising the First General Assembly in Hanover (DE). More information is coming soon and can be found at the events page of our website.
We also expect to start publishing the results of our efforts. Most notably, the results of the Focus Groups will be published soon.
To get involved in the MAPPING project you can join a group of around 100 experts and practitioners who regularly discuss the MAPPING problem areas and beyond: the MAPPING LinkedIn Group. You can also join the project on European Commission’s Join up space at Mapping Alternatives for Privacy, property and Internet Governance.
For more information about the project please visit www.mappingtheinternet.eu where you can sign up for our Newsletter. You can also contact the MAPPING dissemination manager, EPMA (CZ) via: info/at/mappingtheinternet.eu. The Project Coordinator, the University of Groningen (NL) can be reached at: projectoffice/at/mappingtheinternet.eu.