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Digital Law Journal

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The purpose of the Digital Law Journal is to provide a theoretical understanding of the laws that arise in Law and Economics in the digital environment, as well as to create a platform for finding the most suitable version of their legal regulation.

This aim is especially vital for the Russian legal community, following the development of the digital economy in our country. The rest of the world has faced the same challenge, more or less successfully; an extensive practice of digital economy regulation has been developed, which provides good material for conducting comparative research on this issue.

Theoretically, "Digital Law" is based on "Internet Law", formed in English-language scientific literature, which a number of researchers consider as a separate branch of Law.

The journal establishes the following objectives:

– Publication of research in the field of digital law and digital economy in order to intensify international scientific interaction and cooperation within the scientific community of experts.

– Meeting the information needs of professional specialists, government officials, representatives of public associations, and other citizens and organizations; this concerns assessment (scientific and legal) of modern approaches to the legal regulation of the digital economy.

– Dissemination of the achievements of current legal and economic science, and the improvement of professional relationships and scientific cooperative interaction between researchers and research groups in both Russia and foreign countries.

The journal publishes articles in the following fields of developments and challenges facing legal regulation of the digital economy:

1. Legal provision of information security, and the formation of a unified digital environment of trust (identification of subjects in the digital space, legally significant information exchange, etc.).

2. Regulatory support for electronic civil turnover; comprehensive legal research of data in the context of digital technology development, including personal data, public data, and "Big Data".

3. Legal support for data collection, storage, and processing.

4. Regulatory support for the introduction and use of innovative technologies in the financial market (cryptocurrencies, blockchain, etc.).

5. Regulatory incentives for the improvement of the digital economy; legal regulation of contractual relations arising in connection with the development of digital technologies; network contracts (smart contracts); legal regulation of E-Commerce.

6. The formation of legal conditions in the field of legal proceedings and notaries according to the development of the digital economy.

7. Legal provision of digital interaction between the private sector and the state; a definition of the "digital objects" of taxation and legal regime development for the taxation of business activities in the field of digital technologies; a digital budget; a comprehensive study of the legal conditions for using the results of intellectual activity in the digital economy; and digital economy and antitrust regulation.

8. Legal regulation of the digital economy in the context of integration processes.

9. Comprehensive research of legal and ethical aspects related to the development and application of artificial intelligence and robotics systems.

10. Changing approaches to training and retraining of legal personnel in the context of digital technology development; new requirements for the skills of lawyers.

The subject of the journal corresponds to the group of specialties "Legal Sciences" 12.00.00 and "Economic Sciences" 08.00.00 according to the HAC nomenclature.

The journal publishes articles in Russian and English.

The journal will publish quarterly, thereby releasing 4 issues per year.

Current issue

Vol 1, No 3 (2020)
View or download the full issue PDF (Russian)

COMMENT

8-13 387
Abstract
Today, the majority of developed jurisdictions vigorously provide instruments for the focused support of the economic sectors and companies, which are able to give a significant positive effect for the whole economy in the nearest perspective. It is particularly true for the fastest-growing companies, which operate in the tech sectors i.e. technology-based gazelle companies. Such companies manufacture unique products, creates new job places for highly qualified staff and intensively export their tech solutions worldwide. Despite overall reduction of the earnings, some technology-based companies demonstrate outstanding flexibility in searching for the new opportunities and markets in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. However, the majority of technologybased gazelle companies rapidly grow out of the thresholds for the small and medium enterprises. In turn, these companies get into the “death valley” in the absence of the focused instruments of the governmental support. At the same time, complex governmental support in the spheres of tax, financing and procurement is able to promote achievement by the certain technology-based gazelle companies of their potential and make them “unicorn” companies with market value over USD 1 billion and even world leaders in their technology sectors. That, in turn, will give a chance for the growth of the Russian economy even in the context of the fall of the prices on energy resources. This article proposes complex and the most relevant measures of the state support for the technology-based gazelle companies, taking into account the foreign experience and Russian peculiarities.

ESSAYS

14-20 254
Abstract
This essay presents the main trends of changes in the labor market in connection with the digitalization of the world economy. The interrelated problems of increasing labor productivity, reducing workplaces, and ensuring effective demand are considered. The authors propose considering digitalization as a way of promoting creativity in workplaces, albeit having a delayed effect due to the lag in time for the establishment of a world new economic order, during which services are becoming the main product, and digital platforms and ecosystems are the main actors in the global economy. “Creativization” is a new term suggested by the authors, which means a workplace that is being transformed by digitalization, whereby monotonous work processes are replaced by intellectually intensive operations, art elements, and unique high-performance activities.
21-39 690
Abstract
In the practice of the Russian courts, when creating an account in an online multiplayer game, any agreement concluded between the provider and the user seems to be covered by article 1062 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, which is why this topic is not subject to judicial examination. However, this approach is unlikely to be applied for much longer, as it does not stand up to criticism. It can only be interpreted as a court attempt to insulate itself from the issue of virtual property. This article is devoted to the consideration the key risks to a provider related to the uncertain legal status of an online games’ terms of use, particularly the prohibition to share a user’s account or login credentials with anyone and a user’s actual rights to virtual content associated with his account.
To achieve the research goal, the authors review the legal literature and perform a case study in this area, use a comparative method to identify legislative approaches in different legal systems regarding a user’s rights to their account and the virtual content connected with it, and determine the aspects of the user agreement that obviously contain risks for the provider.
As a result of the research, the authors conclude that online multiplayer games are a sphere that tends to self-regulate. Therefore, to the extent possible, the risk of imbalance between self-regulation capabilities and the need to avoid abuse of the current situation, both by providers and users, should be minimized. The main source of regulation for relations between providers and players remains an agreement between them, which can be qualified as a mixed contract. However, such a qualification carries a risk for the provider, due to the complexity of determining the consequences of using the agreement as a single document, which combines various goals, ranging from determining the amount of processing of a player’s data and to fixing the legal regime of a user’s account. Regarding prohibition to share a user’s account, the authors assume that, according to Russian legislation, the most appropriate path is to determine it as a prohibition of assignment to secure providers from the liability for protection of users’ data. The lack of special regulation in this area allows the provider, through the terms of use, to sidestep the potential risk of protecting the player’s copyright on virtual content associated with his account. The authors, however, suggest that using an analogue of the American “sweat of the brow” doctrine in user agreements can to a certain extent remove the provider’s risks associated with the players’ real rights to their in-game property.
40-50 286
Abstract
This article focuses on the right to a name, which in private law doctrine is traditionally considered a basic human right. The meaning of this right is indisputable and holds a fundamental value for everyone, since a name individualizes each person. However, the purpose of this article is not to tell the history of this right, but to study its nature. The development of the internet and digital technologies has made it possible to take a fresh look at the right to a name; when registering on social media, a person also uses his or her name, and in some cases acquires a pseudonym (nickname). In this study, the author aims at answering the question of what, in the era of the internet, is truly meant by the right to a name.
Methodologically, there are two general approaches to understand the right to a name: the first one is AngloAmerican and the second one is European. While it is typical for common-law countries to consider a name as an element of privacy, in continental legal tradition the right to a name is considered as a type of personal right, as well as one of the conditions of legal capacity. Both approaches are re-examined in this study.
Having started with the right to a name, in the final paragraph of the article the author reaches the issue of the right to a pseudonym. This topic is illustrated with the case of “the fight against rootless cosmopolitism”, when many representatives of the Jewish intelligentsia in the Soviet Union became victims of discrimination, at a time when it public authorities assumed that the use of a pseudonym was dangerous as they could lose control over the people; ironically, many modern states have declared the same criticism of the right to a nickname regarding the internet. This example clearly shows that, throughout history, non-democratic regimes have systematically attacked and diminished the right to a name.
It is concluded that the advent of new technologies has not changed the essence of a name. Therefore, any unreasonable limitation of the right to a name and the right to a pseudonym should be defined as a violation of the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law.
51-64 257
Abstract
The articles focuses on opportunities and problems connected with implementation of smart contracts into “over-the-counter” derivatives trading. The importance of success of professionals who work on this cannot be underestimated: the volume of “over-the-counter” derivatives market is huge, its automatization and transparency provided by implemented smart contracts could dramatically increase its economic efficiency. In this study, the author aims at answering the following question: what aspects of “over-the-counter” derivatives trading could take a quantum leap because of the implementation of smart contacts and, per contra, what aspects could not benefit from implementation of underlying technologies at all.
The author starts with the overview of “over-the-counter” derivatives market, investigates the matter of its internal design, main features and the structure of legal documentation used by market participants. Then the article provides the analysis of smart contract phenomenon, summary of its engineering aspects and difficulties connected with the implementation of smart contracts as a practical matter, including underlying legal issues. The third part is a synthesis of ideas indicated in previous parts. Herein the author examines the perspectives of adoption of smart contracts in “over-the-counter” derivatives trading, identifies the problems that cannot be resolved yet: different parts of legal relations existing between market participants shall be structured in a flexible way and shall be subject to revision under specific conditions. Smart contracts in their turn cannot be considered as a flexible tool and the revision of their terms requires the input from highly experienced specialists that dramatically increases the costs of their implementation and maintenance.
As a matter of conclusion, the author gives recommendation to potential developers of smart contacts to implement them only in relation to the automatization of payments and deliveries as at the moment the clearing can be considered as the most appropriate area for the implementation and use of smart contracts.


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