Who Profits When You Click? How Value Is Distributed on the Net Publication date : May 6, 2015
Valérie-Laure Benabou, a law professor at Versailles University, is an expert in intellectual property rights on the Internet, a consultant on the Conseil Supérieure de la Propriété Littéraire et Artistique (CSPLA) and a member of the French parliamentary study commission on digital rights and Internet freedom.
Judith Rochfeld is a professor of private law at Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Paris-I. Her research interests and publications focus on civil law (contracts, persons, goods, property), European law and digital law.
What can be done to safeguard privacy and cultural diversity? How to reinstate individuals in their rightful place as citizens, as productive members of society and as consumers? Nothing is free on the Internet and each intermediary uses the data it obtains on users (profile, behaviour) to turn a profit. ‘If it’s free, you’re the product’, proclaims the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir to denounce the use of personal data by GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), to which Twitter and Microsoft could be added.
These digital giants are vying for control of the Net in an effort to keep profits to themselves. Never before have the producers of wealth (creators, Internet users) and those who profit from it been so disconnected.
The book denounces property limits, a notion that is often brandished as a talisman by Internet detractors but which is nevertheless poorly adapted to the virtual character of the assets under consideration.
The authors explore new legal solutions for a fairer distribution of Internet wealth. Such solutions include giving individuals increased means and reassessing personal data as a common resource.
• A concrete, legal approach for a clearer, more balanced understanding of the interests of all parties.
• Existing laws fail to adequately protect intellectual property. The authors propose here a series of solutions based on their innovative approach to digital content.