16th November 2018
This week, the Justice Beat focuses on competition laws playing to the advantage of large internet companies, live-streamed appeal hearings and whistleblowing judges.
Making their own rules
1. As some tech companies like Google and Facebook amass huge audiences and power, can competition laws keep up? An opinion piece for Quartz argues that the premise on which competition laws are based - low prices for consumers - is playing to big tech’s advantage and harming smaller companies.
2. Google's new sexual harassment policy is inadequate, according to its employees, Wired reports. Earlier in November, more than 20,000 employees walked out of Google’s offices around the world, protesting sexual harassment and a non-inclusive workplace culture. The organisers of the walkout are reportedly disappointed with Google’s new policy, which they deem dismissive.
3. Judges should be classed as ‘workers’ under employment legislation and able to benefit from whistleblowing protections, says District Judge Claire Gilham. The Law Society Gazette reports that the judge is bringing a claim to gain employment rights for judges. She was unsuccessful arguing her case before the Court of Appeal last year, but has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. She is raising funds on CrowdJustice to cover the costs of the appeal.
4. A dispute between West Ham United FC and the management of the former Olympic Stadium has been chosen to pilot the first live-streamed Court of Appeal hearing, according to Legal Cheek. The Court will consider what the seating capacity at the ground should be for matches. Top appeal judge Sir Terence Etherton says live streaming is an exciting way of opening up the courts to the public.
No taste copyright
5. The European Court of Justice has declared that the taste of food cannot be protected by copyright, the BBC reports. The case concerned a spreadable cream cheese and herb dip, produced by Dutch company Levola Hengelo, which alleged that another cheese-maker had infringed its copyright. The European Court says that taste is too "subjective and variable" to meet the requirements of copyright.
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This week on CrowdJustice, the family of Anwaar Lahrichi-Greenwood, who was found dead after going missing in Ibiza, are raising funds to get answers from the Spanish authorities and a group of local residents is crowdfunding to save a parcel of land, used for over 40 years by the community, by getting it designated as a village green.
Migrants’ Rights Network have succeeded in getting the Home Office to abandon a controversial 'hostile environment' scheme of NHS data sharing to track down patients believed to be breaching immigration rules. Migrants’ Rights Network raised over £13,000 on CrowdJustice to take legal action.
Image credit: Flickr / Carlos Luna