This is the anchor project for the theme “The Property Paradigm”. The co-Directors of the AHRB Centre have an existing and strong research record in this area that marries a number of elements brought together by this and the sub-projects of this tranche of the Centre's work. Laurie, for example, has considered theoretical and practical perspectives on privacy and property in a number of works, including a monograph published by Cambridge University Press in 2002 entitled Genetic Privacy: A Challenge to Medico-Legal Norms (http://titles.cambridge.org/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521660270); Edwards has considered the role and utility of anonymity in cyberspace, while Waelde has examined the commercialisation of personality through the medium of trade mark law. The linking of the topics of privacy, property, and personality, including ideas of trespass and monopoly control, has so far been severely under-explored, yet American experience shows that property concepts can be abused to close down access to cultural and economic life and to narrow the public domain. This project will examine these three concepts - alone and in combination - to determine and infuence the future of their protection by legal means.
The AHRB Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law is currently undertaking a five-year study of personality rights. This is a comparative analysis of the measures instituted in a variety of jurisdictions to protect different aspects of the human personality, such as image, identity, personal privacy, dignity and related economic interests. As part of this project, co-directors have devised a series of case studies, the purpose being to discover not only if there is a commonality in the ethic underlying of the protection of personality, but also to ascertain at what level the public interest might operate to restrict or define the scope of the rights.
The Centre has developed a web-based resource of cases that highlight the range of issues that can arise and the different means used to protect the underlying interests. This is a dynamic resource which is being developed on an on-going basis. The Centre welcomes visitors to the site and contributions both on the cases contained therein and on other issues or cases from legal systems around the world. You can see full details of the research project and of the case studies here. You can also visit the Personality Database here.