A Legal Perspective

Techniques for representing and reasoning over legal and social rules – what new tools need to be developed within legal theory to explore and understand the impact of law as a driver in shaping the Web development? Should law be a catalyst for change or merely reactive to it and how should it interact and respond to economic, social and technological influences?

Is the present intellectual property regulatory regime fit for purpose in the Web 2.0 (+) environment given that its legal principles were established in the offline world? What is content in the Semantic Web and what rights should attach to it particularly when much is likely to be “computer generated”?

Which technologies within the Web should the law ensure remain “open” rather than becoming the “property” of one or more commercial entities and what are the consequences of the choices available?

To what extent are the service providers going to become the legal gatekeepers for public authorities in terms of delivering their public policy objectives e.g. Web policing for what is judged to be “illegal and harmful content”?

What privacy issues arise in a Web environment of increasingly sophisticated information sharing? Does the rise of vigilante justice Web sites suggest that we are entering a new phase of macro technological regulation in which traditional forms of regulatory regime are simply sidestepped?