Looking back at 2014 we have compiled a list of policy issues that affect how we use technology.
1/ The European Court of Justice elaborated a concept of “right to be forgotten” to protect users’ privacy on the internet.
2/ The EU parliament voted a non-binding resolution asking the EU commission to unbundle search engines from other commercial services as a means to tackle market dominance of Google in Europe.
3/ Spain passed a law requiring search engines to pay royalties for snippets of media content that appear in search results. Google hasn’t bowed down and responded by consequently closing Google News in Spain and removing several Spanish news sites from its search index.
4/ US President suggested stronger enforcement of net-neutrality principle by returning to treatment of the Internet providers as “common carrier” services, the way it used to be until 2002. However, in EU German Chancellor attacked the principle of net-neutrality by proposing the development of a two-lane internet. One lane for “special,” high priority service, and another that’s meant to resemble the internet as it exists today.
5/ US courts struggled with the limits of IP protection. US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ignored decades of precedent by extending copyright protection to the way programs talk to other programs. At the same time, the US Supreme Court rejected a patent that claimed an existing business practice was novel because it was done with computers. And the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals finally threw out a bunch of software patents.