In 2014, the World Wide Web turned 25, more than half the population of the planet was connected to the Internet, there were around 1.70 billion active smartphones in the world and around the same amount of monthly active Facebook users. There is no denying the growing pervasiveness and thus influence that the Internet (static or mobile) and all its applications especially Facebook, have on the world’s population. While the WWW is IPR-free, Facebook, apps and smart phones are heavily reliant on IPR. IPR are technology-neutral. Any work, design or invention can be protected if it is new, inventive and/or original even if it does not enhance well-being. While the Internet, smartphones and Facebook make us more connected and social ties enhance well-being, empirical research however reveals that such technologies’ effects are overall more negative than positive. The question is thus posed whether the IPR framework should embed a ‘not-well-being-reducing’ condition for this type of inventions and works as they do not fall into the morality clause. 

Convenors: Graeme Dinwoodie, Dev Gangjee & Robert Pitkethly Directions to the seminar room from the Porter's Lodge. Refreshments provided, all are welcome (registration not required. Please direct enquiries to