Numérique et grandes notions du droit privé : La personne, la propriété, le contrat

Abstract : How to study the rich interactions of law and the digital universe? The most traditional, cross-cutting legal concepts should be placed at the forefront of the analysis. Without denying anything of the specificities of the subject of study, it is important not to give in too quickly to the ease of an entirely new regulation. Connecting digital to common concepts such as the branch to the trunk will allow it to be irrigated with the sap of secular reflections. If, however, the classical instrument is not successfully applied to the new problem, this may be a sign that the venerable concept must be made more flexible, clarified or transformed: it still makes it possible to link digital technology to the achievements of private law, and at the same time can offer the older disciplines the benefit of a better legal instrument. Finally, if and only if the classical notion is absolutely incapable of grasping the difficulty proposed to it, even at the cost of an evolution, the rupture must be established with the common law, and a body of specific rules must be forged. Among the major notions of private law, the person, property and contract are crossed by the digital as if by a groundswell. "The person" is divided into two themes: digital identity and electronic communication. The theme of digital identity encompasses issues related to anonymity, its voluntary lifting by online identification techniques, and the collection and use of personal data. The legal and technical tools that allow individuals to shape their digital avatar are subject to detailed critical scrutiny. "Electronic communication" deals both with the adaptation of the rules governing freedom of expression to new forms of specifically digital discourse, the role of technical intermediaries in the fight against hate speech, and the influence of these platforms on the arrangement and filtering of online information. "Ownership" is invoked in very different contexts, and coupled with multiple media. Ownership of the infrastructure is first considered. It is being brandished by telecommunication network builders to demand increasing power to deliver information by discriminating according to its content. It arises when we analyze ICANN's global coordination power over domain names, which involves legal and physical control over physical assets. It is then the ownership of the content that is discussed. Applied to works, it makes it possible to observe how copyright accompanies, resists or exploits developments related to digitisation. More unexpectedly, it is proposed to focus on the concept of ownership of "copies of works", which allows consumers of online cultural content to protect the extent of their rights of use against restrictions put in place through technological protection measures. Finally, the ownership of terminals could be invoked by end-users to get out of the ecosystem in which the manufacturer seeks to lock them up, composed of operating systems and specific application stores, which heavily regulate the uses of the devices acquired. The "contract" is undergoing profound changes, which affect both its common rules and its special uses. The common law is changing, first of all, from the point of view of the formation of conventions. Goods and especially online services are placed with maximum speed and efficiency in mind, despite the subtlety of the business models sometimes implemented. The consent given by the clientele is then very poor, and the agreement is fragile in terms of proof and accountability. On the other hand, at the execution stage of agreements, smart contracts are implacable digital sentinels, all the more formidable because they are outside the law. Special contract law is evolving, secondly, in favour of the development of the "collaborative economy", which gives a new lease of life to brokerage, but deeply destabilizes both social and consumer law.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Emmanuel Netter. Numérique et grandes notions du droit privé : La personne, la propriété, le contrat. Droit. Université de Picardie - Jules Verne, 2017. ⟨hal-02059429⟩

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