Law and Business

Open Data and European Law

Technical standardisation, interoperability, licensing, ownership and charging were just some of the topics discussed by Professor of Intellectual Property, Marco Ricolfi, from Italy’s Turin University at a recent ACU Law seminar in Melbourne.

Professor Ricolfi has led the development of new approaches to Intellectual Property in Europe, specifically in the area of copyright. He has been the recipient of several large European Union grants that have had a significant impact in this field.

A wide range of information is collected, generated, stored and preserved by government and public sector bodies carrying out specific tasks – including geographic information, land registration (or casastral) data, metadata concerning museums and archives as well as meteorological data.

In his seminar – Open Data and European Law: Towards a New Research Paradigm? – Professor Professor Ricolfi explored the benefits of access to and reuse of these datasets in an environment which enables mass-digitisation of data and network driven cooperation.

He examined several main strands of contemporary political debate about Permission to Share Information (PSI) and open data, looking at the possible contribution of an open data regime to the emerging third innovation and creativity paradigm, which is based on digital-platform-driven cooperation rather than contributions by single individuals, businesses and organisations that have so far characterised our civilisation.

The seminar compared the liberal, “open data”, “no strings attached” approach of the US with the prevailing EU approach which has a strong emphasis on protecting IP in data.

The seminar was chaired by Professor Brian Fitzgerald, from ACU’s School of Law.

“Professor Ricolfi is a traditional scholar. His research also introduces us to a new frontier that prepares us to think about the boundaries of Intellectual Property, and how we can achieve a sense of balance in the system,” Professor Fitzgerald said.