The Hugenholtz League Conference “Intellectual Property and Sports”

International Conference in Honour of Bernt Hugenholtz
24 September 2021

This one-day hybrid conference celebrated the contribution Professor Bernt Hugenholtz has made to legal scholarship as a founding father of the discipline of Information Law, and the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. With international experts addressing copyright law and the broader field of information law and competition law, the programme reflected his enormous impact on copyright scholarship and policymaking in the Netherlands, Europe and globally.

The conference was loosely themed Intellectual Property and Sports to reflect Professor Hugenholtz’ life-long loves on and off the field of academia.

Arrival with coffee/tea

Session 1 – Opening speeches
with André Nollkaemper (Dean Amsterdam Law School), Cyril van der Net (Ministry of Justice), Geidy Lung (World Intellectual Property Organization). 
Chair: Martin Senftleben (IViR).  

Session 2 – Sportive Challenges of Information Law
with Niva-Elkin Koren (Tel Aviv University), Christophe Geiger (CEIPI, University of Strasbourg) and Thomas Vinje (Clifford Chance, Brussels). 
Chair: Mireille van Eechoud (IViR)

Session 3 – Players and Performances: Copyright issues
with Lionel Bently (CIPIL, University of Cambridge), Thomas Dreier (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Séverine Dusollier (SciencesPo, Paris), Marie-Christine Janssens (CITIP, KU Leuven) and Raquel Xalabarder (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya).
Chair: Stef van Gompel (IViR and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). 

Session 4 – IViR Perspectives
with Egbert Dommering, João Pedro Quintais and Martin Senftleben (IViR)

Session 5 – Sport Events: Organization, Reporting, Branding
with Reto Hilty (MPI, Munich), Peter Jaszi (American University Washington), Neil Netanel (UCLA Law), Ansgar Ohly (LMU, Munich), Antoon Quaedvlieg (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Dirk Visser (Leiden University).
Chair: Joost Poort (IViR).

Session 6 – Sportive Challenges of New Technologies
with Daniel Gervais (Vanderbilt University), Paul Goldstein (Stanford University), Martin Kretschmer (CREATe, University of Glasgow) and Pam Samuelson (Berkeley Center for Law & Technology).
Chair: Natali Helberger (IViR). 



Pdf of the programme

During session 4 Bernt Hugenholtz was presented with a book in honour of his academic career. This special edition in the Information Law Series (of which Bernt is the editor-in-chief) was in this case edited by Martin Senftleben, Joost Poort, Mireille van Eechoud, Stef van Gompel & Natali Helberger and includes contributions by prominent experts in intellectual property law. The chapters discuss sports and intellectual property in its widest sense, elucidating such aspects as the following:

  • copyright and celebrity rights relating to players and player performances;
  • neighbouring rights for organisers of sports events;
  • ethnic and cultural references in team and league branding;
  • legality of reselling event tickets;
  • use of artificial intelligence in refereeing;
  • related rights protection of images;
  • e-sports and fantasy leagues; and
  • sports celebrities and character merchandising.

Several researchers and former staff members from the institute wrote a chapter for this book:

  • Introduction: An Information Law Approach to Intellectual Property and Sports by Martin Senftleben, Joost Poort, Mireille van Eechoud, Stef van Gompel and Natali Helberger;
  • A Repetition of Moves by Gerard Schuijt;
  • ‘The Portrait of a Gentleman’ – The Cruijff Case by Egbert Dommering;
  • Sports as Policy Levers in Intellectual Property Lawmaking by Stef van Gompel;
  • Do We Need More Copyright Protection for Sports Events? by João Pedro Quintais;
  • An Economic Note on Reselling Tickets by Joost Poort;
  • Sacrificing the Gods on the Altar of Sports: The Redefinition of Cultural Symbols in the Sports Sector by Martin Senftleben;
  • Database Rights in the EU’s Data Strategy: A Question of Sport? by Mireille van Eechoud;
  • ‘Voetbal Hoort niet bij Robots’: Attitudes Regarding the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Refereeing by Natali Helberger and Brahim Zarouali;
  • AI-JAX by Daniel J. Gervais.

More information about the book can be found here.

This conference was organized by the University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law (IViR).
P.O. Box 15514
1001 NA Amsterdam
The Netherlands