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Center for the Study of the Public Domain Little men

Conferences and Meetings

Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global InterfaceA Workshop in Honor of
Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface
The authors, Professors Laurence Helfer and Graeme Austin, and a distinguished panel explore the complex relationship between human rights law and intellectual property law. » more information or view the webcast


Law.Gov LAW.GOV
The Law is "America's Operating System": Should it be Open Source?

The Center, in collaboration with Public.Resource.Org, examined both the promise and the challenges of this ambitious project as part of a series of workshops held around the United States. » more


No Law! Conference A Conference in Honor of the Publication of No Law: Intellectual Property in the Image of an Absolute First Amendment

No LawTo mark the publication of No Law (Stanford University Press 2008) by Professors David Lange and H. Jefferson Powell, the Center gathered a distinguished group of scholars to discuss intellectual property rights and the First Amendment. Speakers included Professors Keith Aoki, James Boyle, Garrett Epps, Neil Netanel, Jerome Reichman, and Neil Siegel. Find out more about the Conference and view the webcasts of the sessions.


The Opposite(s) of Property: A Workshop The Opposite(s) of Property: A Workshop

The Public DomainPublic lands, unownable ideas, markets for eggs and surrogates, slaves in court, the economics of sharing . . . . These are some of the issues discussed at this Duke Law School workshop prompted by the publication of James Boyle's book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press 2008). Speakers included Professors Kim Krawiec, Yochai Benkler, Jed Purdy, Adrienne Davis, Arti Rai, David Lange, and Jerome Reichman. Find out more about the workshop and view the webcasts of the sessions.


Policy and Technology for e-SciencePolicy and Technology for e-Science

In July 2008, the Center held an international workshop in Barcelona on the basic principles of open science, co-sponsored with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and Science Commons. Among the results were "best practices" and licensing tools designed to facilitate the sharing of scientific knowledge in a way that speeds discovery and saves lives. Read more about the conference.


Copyright Limitations and ExceptionsCopyright Limitations and Exceptions: from access to research to transformative use

This international workshop focused on the introduction of new – and the use of old – flexibilities in the copyright system in order to promote greater access to scientific and scholarly knowledge, particularly in the digital environment. It also explored ways to foster creative or “transformative” uses of digital content. The discussion generated recommendations for the European Commission’s Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy and its larger i2010 initiative on digital libraries and scientific publishing. It also developed strategies to inform related efforts in the US, and to fortify other access to knowledge initiatives around the world. The panels covered such diverse topics as: “The importance of copyright limitations and exceptions in fulfilling the goals of the system”; “Access to Scholarly Literature”; “Scientific Data and the Copyright/IP Connection”; “Limitations and Exceptions to Promote Access to Knowledge”; and “Transformative Use.”


Adventures in Synthetic BiologySynthetic Biology: The Intellectual Property Puzzle Worshop

The Center, in conjunction with Professors James Boyle and Arti Rai, the Duke Center for Public Genomics, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducted a workshop on intellectual property rights in synthetic biology. The workshop brought together leading synthetic biologists, legal academics, lawyers, business people, and economists to discuss this emerging field – with the potential for scientists to develop inexpensive drugs, particularly for neglected diseases such as malaria – and the challenges that such new technologies can pose for intellectual property rights. The Conference sessions covered an overview of science, a framing of the intellectual property issues and a presentation of the "patent landscape." Read more about the conference.


framed imageFramed!! How Law Constructs and Constrains Culture

This conference, held in association with Full Frame, the premier documentary film festival in the United States, examined the impact of intellectual property law on documentary filmmaking and music. It brought together artists - documentary filmmakers and directors, classical composers and audio collage artists - with a distinguished roster of legal experts to explore the complex interplay between law and art.  The participants explored issues such as hurdles faced by filmmakers in clearing rights and renewing limited licenses for images and music, and how the line between permissible borrowing and theft in music has shifted in recent years (such that the evolution of genres like jazz, which relied on practices of borrowing and referencing, might not be possible under today's regime).  The panelists also discussed legal reforms that might better promote creativity and take into account artists' perspectives.


Collective Action and Proprietary RightsCollective Action and Proprietary Rights (webcasts: Part 1 | Part 2 )

With Duke's Program on Global Health and Technology Access and Duke's Center for the Study of Public Genomics, the Center co-sponsored a meeting on promoting innovation and access in health through collective action such as humanitarian licensing, patent pools, and open source projects directed to developing drugs that fight neglected diseases.


image from magazineWIPO and the Future of Intellectual Property

The Center co-sponsored a Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue meeting that brought together leading experts and stakeholders from academia, industry, NGOs, and governments, as well as members of the WIPO secretariat, to discuss the future of WIPO. The discussion focused on reconciling WIPO's aims of promoting private intellectual property rights with its goal, in the words of the agreement between WIPO and the UN, of  "promoting creative intellectual activity and . . . facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development." The meeting contributed to a proposal by the governments of Brazil and Argentina for a WIPO Development Agenda, which was accepted by the WIPO General Assembly.


International Public GoodsInternational Public Goods and Transfer of Technology under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime (webcast) (more)

This conference focused the attention of an exceptional roster of distinguished economists, political scientists, legal scholars and other experts on the globalization of intellectual property rights. Stronger and more harmonized intellectual property rights seek to foster greater innovation and reduce costs of transferring proprietary information across borders. However, many have raised concerns that they will actually retard economic and technolessential goods and services covered by intellectual property. Patents may raise the costs of medicines, copyrights may affect the access of libraries and students to new information, and private ownership of new seed varieties may reduce biodiversity, even as these policies raise incentives for innovation. A "one size fits all" model of intellectual property rights may particularly harm developing countries, as well as small and medium-sized firms and researchers everywhere. This conference analyzed the complex conceptual foundations of the new globalized intellectual property regime, and examined ways to minimize social costs and enhance the benefits that could ensue from the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other international agreements. The papers from this conference have been published in a major volume by Cambridge University Press (2005) [ buy the book ].


Music and TheftMusic and Theft: Technology, Sampling, and the Law

This conference brought together practitioners and theorists to discuss music sampling’s technological foundations, artistic and cultural implications, and legal ramifications. Participants included sampling wunderkind DJ Spooky, seminal cultural theorist Dick Hebdige, music theorists and composer-professors Anthony Kelley and Scott Lindroth, music historian and BMI archivist David Sanjek, several prominent music attorneys and legal academics, as well as Public Domain Fellow and conference organizer Daphne Keller.


Duke Conference on the Public DomainDuke Conference on the Public Domain

In November 2001, Duke Law School hosted the first major conference to focus squarely on the topic of the public domain. This “extraordinary meeting” (Seth Shulman, Technology Review) drew together “an elite group of intellectuals and scientists” (Patti Waldmeir,Financial Times) from a range of disciplines including law, computer science, music, and cultural theory. Against the backdrop of recent expansions in intellectual property rights, the event ultimately confirmed that the “other side” of intellectual property – the public domain – plays a vital role in areas ranging from the human genome to appropriationist art, and from the production of scientific data to the architecture of our communications networks.


Hot Topics in Intellectual Property SymposiaHot Topics in Intellectual Property Symposia

The Center continues to support these student symposia on "hot topics" in intellectual property law. Panels at these events have addressed patents versus open source approaches to software, patent reform and major patent law decisions, debates surrounding peer-to-peer file sharing systems, the appropriate limits of copyright protection, patent law reform, antitrust and intellectual property, intellectual property issues surrounding clean technology, and generic biologics – from the diverse perspectives of judges, practitioners, legislators, industry, and academics. Keynote speakers have included Judges Randall Rader, Arthur Gajarsa, and Timothy Dyk of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; George Gilder of the Gilder Technology Report and Discovery Institute; Jay Thomas, professor of law at Georgetown Law Center; and Carl Horton, Chief IP Counsel, The General Electric Company.

View the programs and watch the webcasts ».


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