Innovate/Activate: An Unconference on Intellectual Property and Activism

Date(s) of Conference:

September 24-25, 2010

Location:

New York Law School

Description:

Innovation is unquestionably important to society. Intellectual property regimes seek to provide incentives for such innovation. Understanding the inter-working of intellectual property regimes and innovation may lead to conclusions that such regimes are not working well, or at all, in encouraging innovation. When such failures are perceived, active communities form to address the shortcomings. Many communities have formed around issues such as free speech vs copyright; the importance of fair use; alternative licensing regimes such as Creative Commons or free and open source software; patent protection of software and business methods; and patents vs downstream innovation of critical pharmaceuticals.

While these approaches have been exceedingly important in bringing about needed change, many successful groups have devised strategies that balance the extent to which activists work within existing innovation systems in order to achieve their goals, as they continue to explore the necessity of circumventing those systems. At the same time, the increased production of and focus on IP in all industries has catalyzed the emergence of IP obstacles in areas where IP has traditionally not been a consideration, thus creating new areas for activism. It’s time to reexamine our approaches to improving global welfare by identifying new and existing IP-related challenges to activism, developing strategies for overcoming IP obstacles, and delivering practical solutions to spur social, political, environmental, scientific, technological and legal change.

The Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School is proud to present Innovate / Activate, a two-day unconference, cosponsored by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, where IP practitioners and activists will share their ideas and experiences in order to transform the landscape of activism.

Contact Information:

innovate.activate@nyls.edu

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