Rights and Entitlements in Information: Proprietary Perspectives and Beyond

Anette Alén-Savikko, Olli Pekka Pitkänen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In the world of global networks, information flows are perpetual and massive in scale. Data and information are of ever increasing value in the so-called information society—be it a question of the public sector, the entertainment industry, social networking sites, advertising, or the traditional manufacturing industry’s metamorphosis to a service economy. In the information realm, industry players place hopes on big data analytics and lucrative models of exploiting intangible assets for a variety of purposes, while simultaneously facing demands for openness and sharing. From the perspective of individuals in particular, both privacy and rights of access, and also reutilisation and portability are at the heart of the matter. The current cacophony clearly requires a critical analyses of existing legislation.
This chapter provides a detailed examination of rights in data and information in the EU, instead of using a simplified reference to “ownership” in this context, while drawing on case studies in its analysis. The chapter acknowledges the complex nature of information as having non-excludable, interpersonal and non-rivalrous dimensions—a nature which cannot be overlooked when subjecting it to proprietary logics. The role of contracting and consenting in the information realm is discussed with this in mind. For intellectual property, licensing presents a typical means of sharing and generating value while consenting justifies processing of personal data. Sharing confidential information, such as trade secrets, rests on contractual stipulations, among others. The chapter asserts that information flows and lives in a social setting while several persons may have coexisting demands towards the same pieces of information. The chapter also examines legal control over information and draws on the notion of information society as well as on alternative paradigms in its search for future horizons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationData Protection, Privacy and European Regulation in the Digital Age
EditorsTobias Bräutigam, Samuli Miettinen
Number of pages31
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherUniversity of Helsinki
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)978-951-51-2530-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameForum iuris : Helsingin yliopiston oikeustieteellisen tiedekunnan julkaisut
PublisherHelsingin yliopisto
ISSN (Print)1456-842X


  • 513 Law
  • data
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Data Protection
  • Digital Objects


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