This article discusses the protection of new plant varieties in Africa and the African Model Law through the lens of its key protagonist, Professor Johnson Ekpere. It urges African countries to consult the African Model Law as a guide when designing plant variety protection systems. It is hoped that by offering Professor Ekpere's biography, personal experiences, and first-hand account of the African Model Law, African countries may better understand the Model Law as a significant response to the small-scale-farmer- and farming-community-centred agricultural systems on the continent and embrace its continued relevance.
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Edited by Johanna Gibson
Taina Pihlajarinne, Juha Vesala and Olli Honkkila
This book examines current issues raised by online distribution of content in the European Union (EU) – ranging from questions relating to copyright infringement and enforcement to competition and protecting the interests of consumers. These issues are highly topical, especially since the European Commission has proposed measures to create a Digital Single Market (DSM) for digital content and online content services.
Woodrow Barfield and Alexander Williams
Advances in virtual and augmented reality technology and in the software to produce virtual worlds have allowed virtual avatars to be used with increasing frequency for a range of activities. But with improvements in the technology to create virtual and augmented reality worlds have come corresponding issues of law and policy which apply to the avatars that represent the human presence in virtual worlds. This chapter discusses several issues of law which relate to the design and use of virtual avatars, with a specific focus on avatars that are gaining in intelligence and operating with more and more autonomy from humans. Virtual avatars are increasingly not simply entities under the control of real-world users, as with avatars found in many online virtual reality games, but rather are becoming more autonomous actors, generating their own decisions and solutions to problems which may not always be intelligible or transparent to the real-world users they represent. Additionally, it is the case that increasingly smart avatars operating with greater autonomy raise significant legal issues beyond those of “human-controlled” avatars, not the least of which is whether the avatars themselves deserve legal rights.