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Net neutrality has evolved in the past 4 months from a regulatory edict that was overcome by the ...
Net neutrality has evolved in the past 4 months from a regulatory edict that was overcome by the US Appeal Court 14 January 14 decision in Verizon v. FCC 740 F.3d 623 (2014), to a strong European law passed at First Reading by the outgoing Parliament on 3 April 2014. Chris Marsden is author of the first legal research treatise on the subject Net Neutrality: Towards a Co-Regulatory Solution (January 2010, 2nd edition due 2016) and advisor to several governments and international organisations on net neutrality. He will explain what is in the new European law, contrast it with the FCC regulatory proceedings and case law, and identify a solution to the legislative and regulatory logjams on both sides of the Atlantic. The solution needs to both satisfy consumer advocates that access to the open Internet will constantly increase in quality, as well as satisfying service provider demands for adequate incentives to invest in high-speed lanes, known as ‘Specialised Services’. He will also speak about open access to the law. There is a strong connection between open access to the Internet and to the law. Without an adequate Internet connection in the office, at home and on the move, it does not matter how good a legal app is. Marsden will analyse the increasing tendency towards providing wider access to legislation, case law and commentary by governments, publishers and law firms. There are several European projects funded by the European Commission DG Justice such as www.openlaws.eu and EUCases, as well as national projects such as #goodlaw and legislation.gov.uk, that are making use of the Internet to provide a much richer experience in ‘mashing up’ existing databases for lawyers to tailor to their (and their clients’) needs. His analysis of open access to law is based on his forthcoming article in Computers & Law, and forms part of a two-year ongoing multinational research project.