Posted on Categories data economy

Different layers of data

The conceptual framework of the data economy also requires an understanding of the division of data into different layers. This may have great legal significance.

From a legal perspective, one of the most important issues of the data economy is undoubtedly the civil-law status of data (as we discussed in another article). However, it crucial to distinguish between different data layers. It turns out that when talking about “data,” we may be referring in practice to different dimensions of data.

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Posted on Categories data economy

New series: Data economy

We are launching a series of articles on the data economy. We use this term to refer collectively to new models of the economy in which the principal role is played by data. Data are becoming an asset in their own right which is more and more often the subject of commercial exchange. This doesn’t mean only personal data. It also, or even primarily, means non-personal data of all sorts, including those generated or gathered by machines, whose value we are only beginning to discover.

We were spurred to develop a series of texts on this topic by the more and more frequently encountered question “Who owns data?” We hear this from clients, tech firms, and startups. Under the surface of this seemingly trivial question lurks the essence of the legal challenges connected with the data economy. It turns out that the legal status of data is not always obvious and it cannot easily be determined who owns data or what is the substance of rights to data.

We would like to expose some sensitive areas where the law does not yield the desired answers to fundamental questions about the rules of the data economy. Along the way, we will attempt to systematise the existing regulations, to determine to what extent they could apply to data.

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Posted on Categories blockchain, changes in law

Blockchain and outsourcing

The Polish regulations directly referring to blockchain will be joined on 19 September 2020 by the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 9 March 2020 on Documents Connected with Banking Activities on IT Data Carriers. It expressly permits banks to store documents connected with banking activities on blockchain.

Under §5(2) of the new regulation, “A document may be stored in the form of a distributed and decentralised database. The bank shall operate the database in a manner ensuring the security and integrity of the documents contained in the database.” The phrase “distributed and decentralised database” used in this provision refers to blockchain, as is expressly stated in the justification to the draft of the regulation. Moreover, the identical phrase is used in other legal acts to refer to blockchain technology (e.g. in the provisions of the Commercial Companies Code devoted to the ledger of stockholders).

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Posted on Categories changes in law, electronic identification

Expanded legal significance of electronic seals

The Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 9 March 2020 on Documents Connected with Banking Activities on IT Data Carriers enters into force on 19 September 2020. This is a good occasion to discuss the expanded legal significance of the electronic seal.

The new regulation supersedes the prior executive regulation under Art. 7 of the Polish Banking Law. The noteworthy features of the new regulation include the systemic consolidation of the terminology through introduction of concepts consistent with the EU’s eIDAS Regulation (910/2014) and a direct reference to distributed ledger technology. (I will address the treatment of this technology in a separate article.)

It appears that inclusion in the new Polish regulation of terminology consistent with the eIDAS Regulation is more than a mere technicality. A closer analysis of the provisions raises the question of whether the regulation in fact expands the legal significance of the electronic seal.

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Posted on Categories creative industry

Legal aspects of the video game industry

The video game development sector has grown rapidly in recent years. With the spread of smartphones, new business models, and distribution platforms, the market for video games has taken off, becoming a key sector of the creative industry. Its growth stirs the imagination and appetite not only of game producers and publishers, but also of the biggest companies in sectors like IT and film, who are increasingly oriented toward the game market. It is also a promising field for investors, particularly from Asia. The industry’s growth has not even been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To the contrary, the industry has taken advantage of this time to reinforce its position and achieve new growth.

The competitiveness of the video game market is also growing, and smaller producers and publishers must compete with global giants. This is not discouraging Polish producers and publishers. In addition to the largest studios, smaller but equally ambitious ones continue to spring up in Poland, with backing from various programmes and accelerators.

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