In 2018 the Institute for Information Law organised the first IViR Science Fiction & Information Law Writing Competition. The idea behind the competition was that science fiction and information law have more in common than meets the eye. Both ‘genres’ are fascinated by new and emerging technologies, and both feel a strong urge to write about them. Authors in both ‘genres’ dedicate a considerable share of their time speculating how these technologies may evolve. Science fiction authors as well as information law scholars ponder what the implications will be for society, markets and the values that we cherish and seek to protect.
The organisers asked for stories that reflect on our possible data-drive future where data has been firmly established as an economic asset and new, data-driven smart technologies can change the way we live, work, love, think and vote.
More than 25 authors from all over the world submitted a story for the competition. An independent jury consisting of Ryan Calo, Paul Goldstein, Natali Helberger, Bernt Hugenholtz, Joost Poort, Mykola Makhortykh and Wolfgang Schulz selected the three winning stories that were nominated for the IViR Science Fiction & Information Law Award. The authors were invited to Amsterdam for a symposium held on 22 February 2019. At the symposium each of the three nominated stories were discussed by two information law scholars, who reflected on the possible normative ramification, what the role of law is to promote or rather prevent such a future, or how law in such a future would look like.
In March 2020 the stories were published in a special issue of Internet Policy Review:
- Four tales of sci-fi and information law, editorial, N. Helberger, J. Poort & M. Makhortykh
- The emergent property market, essay, J. Crowcroft
- Generation NeoTouch: how digital touche is impacting the way we are intimate, C. Würth
- The storyteller, J. Danielsen
- A new beginning, A. Engelfriet