Normative gaps, traceability and conceptual change
This is the main project page for the research project Legal challenges in a digital context in which Stefan Larsson uses copyright as a case to study:
- The “gap problem” in terms of the distance between law and social norms in a digital context;
- Online traceability, that is, consequences and trends of traceability in relation to legal enforcement and surveillance; and
- Conceptual change, exemplified by how the transition of concepts to originally describe tangible objects to now describe digital “stuff”, and, particularly, what this means for law and other norms.
The project is hosted by the Lund University Internet Institue (LUii), and during its three years Stefan will be visiting the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa as well as the Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies (CECS) at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The theoretical fundament is a combination on norm theory and conceptual metaphor theory and the methods used will consist of large-scale online surveys as well as legal surveys in Sweden and the US. The purpose of the project is to produce more knowledge about the relationship between law and other, emerging, norms in a digital society.
Time plan and funding
The project is performed between 2014 and 2016, and is funded by The Swedish Research Council as an “international postdoc”.
The first large-scale online survey was performed in February 2014, slightly ahead of schedule, in collaboration with the Cybernorms research group (and TPB). It collected over 140 000 respondent, and the data from this large set is currently being analysed from a number of views, of which some is of particular interest for this project. The data includes:
- demographics and frequencies of uploading and downloading,
- demographics and frequencies for using anonymity services such as VPN,
- metaphors and justifications on how this community conceptualizes the future of copyright, online piracy and in terms of the Internet and legal enforcement.
Significance of project
The usefulness of the proposed research primarily lies in the policy sector, on how to better regulate and legislate issues related to the digital sphere in order to avoid as much widening of a norm gap as possible:
- To decrease the gap between law and social norms, that is, suggest how to improve the legitimacy of law, in order to
- To avoid dysfunctional law that will spur counter activities, for example a strongly encrypted and anonymous Internet.
- To understand more of what impact digitization has on how we conceptually understand reality – particularly through old concepts, and especially what relevance this has for law.
stefan.larsson [at] luii.lu.se
Publications of relevance
- Halbert & Larsson (May 2015) By Policy or Design? Privacy in the US in a Post-Snowden World, Journal of Law, Technology and Public Policy.
- Larsson (28 July 2015) Images of the digital: On the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment in the CASE OF DELFI AS v. ESTONIA, translated and published in the Latvian weekly legal journal Jurista vards.
- Bröchner, Åström & Larsson (May 2015) Intention in Hybrid Organizations: The Diffusion of the Business Metaphor in Swedish Laws, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law.
- Larsson (March 2015) Metaforerna, rätten & det digitala. Hur gamla begrepp styr förståelsen av nya fenomen. Malmö. Gleerups Utbildning AB.
- Palmås, Andersson Schwarz, & Larsson (Aug 2014) The Liability of Politicalness: Legitimacy and Legality in Piracy-proximate Entrepreneurship, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 22(4): 408-425.
- Ledendal och Larsson (June 2014) Ett rättsligt perspektiv på övervakningstrenden: Datalagringsdirektivets underkännande, i Larsson Runeson (red.) DigiTrust: Tillit i det Digitala. Tvärvetenskapliga perspektiv från ett forskningsprojekt, Lunds universitet: Pufendorfinstitutet.
- Olsson, Rosengren, Runeson, Bill, and Larsson (2014) Tillit i det digitala samhället – en kartläggning, i Larsson och Runeson (red.) DigiTrust: Tillit i det Digitala. Tvärvetenskapliga perspektiv från ett forskningsprojekt, Lunds universitet: Pufendorfinstitutet.
- Larsson (June 2014) Digitaliseringens Rättssociologi. Om mätbarhetens behov av teori och den digitala arkitekturens normativa relevans, Retfærd. Nordic Journal of Law and Justice.
- Andersson Schwarz and Larsson (June 2014) On the Justifications of Piracy: Differences in conceptualization and argumentation between active uploaders and other file-sharers. In: Arvanitakis J and Fredriksson M (eds.), Piracy: Leakages from Modernity. Los Angeles, CA: Litwin Books.
- Larsson, Wnukowska-Mtonga, Svensson & de Kaminski (March 2014) Parallel Norms: File-sharing and Contemporary Copyright Development in Australia, Journal of World Intellectual Property.
- Larsson (Jan 2014) Karl Renner and (Intellectual) Property – How Cognitive Theory Can Enrich a Sociolegal Analysis of Contemporary Copyright, Law & Society Review, 48(1).
- Larsson (Jan 2014) För Individen, Kollektivet eller Industrin? – Om Upphovsrättens Digitala Utmaning, Nordisk Kulturpolitisk Tidskrift.
- Larsson (jan 2014) Conceptions of Copyright. A Comparison between French and American File-sharers, Lexis – E-journal in English lexicology.