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Angela Daly – From autonomous Internet users to 3D printing futures: decentralised law?

Research seminar – Wednesday 21 June, 16.00, Room F110 (Fusion Building)

Various technological developments over the last two decades, their accessibility to the average person and their socio-economic implementations have led to a decentralising tendency on the nature of production and organisation. Prominent among these have been: the Internet (decentralised production & dissemination of information); 3D printing (decentralised production of objects); solar panels (decentralised production of energy); and the blockchain/bitcoin (decentralised production of money and decentralised documentation). The category of ‘prosumer’ i.e. empowered individuals who both produce as well as consume, has come to be used with regards to those engaging with these technological developments. However, these developments stand in stark contrast to the legal and regulatory systems, which have generally been designed in a more centralised era of production and dissemination.

Against this backdrop, my presentation will give an overview of my own (early) career’s work so far, which has principally involved an examination of how EU law and regulation deal with the (re)centralisation encompassed by large Internet corporations, and how law (from a transnational perspective) has encountered 3D printing so far as a potentially ‘disruptive innovation’. I will discuss the context and findings of both of my books and give an indication of the directions of my current work on 3D printing and IP futures, and renewable energy technology. Finally I will offer some thoughts on whether and how law is being decentralised by all of these developments.

Dr Angela Daly is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Law, a research associate in the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society and an adjunct research fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research. She is a socio-legal scholar of technology and is the author of Socio-Legal Aspects of the 3D Printing Revolution (Palgrave 2016) (based on her postdoctoral work at Swinburne University of Technology) and Private Power, Online Information Flows and EU Law: Mind the Gap (Hart 2016) (based on her doctoral work at the European University Institute). At QUT, her main research projects examine the legal and regulatory frameworks applicable to renewable energy technology, and a UK IPO-funded project examining the future(s) of the 3D printing and intellectual property relationship.