[A2k] Call for participation, User Rights @ AUWCL March 29 2017

Sean Flynn sflynn at wcl.american.edu
Wed Jan 25 11:24:40 PST 2017

Globalizing Fair Use: Exploring the Diffusion of General, Open and Flexible Exceptions in Copyright Law

Call for Paper and Presentation Proposals

March 29, 2017


American University Washington College of Law's Program and Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the American University International Law Review ("AUILR") invite submissions for a symposium exploring new directions in domestic and international copyright law promoting adoption of "fair use" rights. For these purposes, "fair use" refers to copyright exceptions that are:

·      General: A general exception applies a single test to multiple categories of use.

·      Open: An open exception can be applied to uses for potentially any purpose, use or work.

·      Flexible: A flexible exception is one applied through a proportionality test balancing the interests of rights holders with those of users, third parties and society at large.

The United States Fair Use right combines the elements of generality, openness and flexibility into a single exception. 17 U.S.C. § 107. Many countries have or are considering adopting similar provisions in their own law. International law, including through the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the limitations and exceptions agenda at the World Intellectual Property Organization are increasingly promoting elements of generality, openness and flexibility in domestic law.

This symposium seeks contributions to inform policy makers on the merits of promoting general, open and flexible exceptions into national and international law, including for civil as well as common law systems, and including for developing as well as advanced industrialized countries.

Questions we are especially interested in exploring include:

·      International and Trade Law. What should be the role of international law in promoting general, open and flexible exceptions? What are the international implications of including within trade and other treaties commitments to "endeavor to achieve balance"? (see, e.g. TPP Art. Article 18.66). What copyright balance clauses should be included in the proposed renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement and the ongoing negotiation of a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?

·      Responding to common concerns about fair use: How can countries outside of the U.S., and outside of common law systems with highly developed judiciaries, address concerns such as:

o   uncertainty in legal application,

o   lack a litigation culture that provides the necessary case law to ground fair use,

o   alleged incompatibility of general, open and flexible standards with civil law traditions.

·      Impact of fair use. What evidence is there that adoption of increasing generality, openness and flexibility in copyright exceptions has or will have a positive impact on social, economic, cultural and political objectives?

AUILR will publish a dedicated volume of its law review with papers from the conference (which must be separately accepted by the Law Review). Deadlines for paper submissions will be in the late Summer 2017 for a Fall 2017 publication.

Participation without publication is welcomed.

A limited amount of funding is available for partialtravel scholarships on the basis of need, with priorities for individuals submitting papers for publication and for international law and trade advocates.

Apply to present and for funding by FEBRUARY 20, 2107, at

Sean Flynn
Director, LLM in Intellectual Property
Acting Director, Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy
Associate Director, Professorial Lecturer in Residence, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
American University Washington College of Law

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