[A2k] Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest Research Survey

Joe Karaganis joe.karaganis at gmail.com
Mon Aug 19 14:32:43 PDT 2013

Hi A2K community (and sorry for cross posting),

Thanks very much to those of you who have responded to the Global Congress
Research Survey.  We have about 70 responses so far... and many unfulfilled

In the hope of encouraging a few more of you, I've excerpted some of the
submitted reflections on priorities and opportunities for the next years.
As I think you'll see, we're on our way toward having a very interesting
collective document.  It is also, at the moment, sharply tilted toward
copyright and US/EU policy developments.  I'm hoping we can address both
issues with another round of submissions.

So let me appeal to you to spend a few minutes on the survey:  *

Here again are the 3 questions:

1) What are you working on?
2) What do you want to be working on in the coming years?
3) What are the (more general) research priorities and opportunities in the
coming years?

Not a researcher? No problem.  We want your thoughts on #3.

The survey will be open through Sept.12.

And once again, we're surveying the general community of interest, not
Global Congress participants per se.  So if you have an interest in these
issues, please weigh in!  If you have already submitted but want to expand
on your thoughts, submit another entry!  We'll reconcile them later.

Best wishes,


Joe Karaganis

The American Assembly
Columbia University

*Jessica Litman, U Michigan*: Empirical research on how the copyright
system does and doesn't work is sorely needed. We all have intuitions about
how copyright law does and does not affect creativity, investment and
distribution, but there is almost no research examining whether those
intuitions actually reflect the world (and if so, which ones of them). That
makes it very difficult for purveyors of dueling intuitions to even have a
Pam Samuelson, UC Berkeley: *Empirical work on the extent of the orphan
works problem and the costs and benefits of different solutions. Empirical
work on the costs and benefits of copyright secondary liability rules.
Empirical work on the copyright alert system in the US and 3 strikes
programs elsewhere.  Analysis of the costs of the US enforcement agenda and
whether it is being effective or overly so.

 *Nick Ashton-Hart, CCIA*: I would say generally that international IP will
not move much now given patent reform in the US (again, maybe real this
time...), the beginnings of a copyright review there, and in the EU,
definitely a copyright review. These two countries/blocks won't want to see
any substantive changes while they are deciding what they want to do. The
result I think is that research needs to open better windows on what
doesn't work about these systems. For example, there isn't nearly enough
research on the costs of licensing of copyright as an activity in its own
right - despite how inefficient all the manual, company by company, country
by country licensing of creative works is. Where there is a solution that
may help - such as extended collective licensing in Scandinavia, there's
really little research on how and why it works. There's also not enough
research to show how little of the pie makes it to creators, from what, and
why. For example, digital money is almost all getting kept by middlemen and
not going to creators thanks to the structure of contractual relations from
the bricks and mortar days, yet this is getting no attention from
researchers. Finally, there is also very little research on how small a
portion of the money that should go to developing country rightsholders
actually makes it there.

 *Ana Santos Duke U: *There is a lot of assessment and categorization work
to be done with regard to IP norms and policies in African countries. While
there has been a boom of both scholarly and non-scholarly articles on
phenomena like Nollywood, little attention has been paid to other blooming
creative industries in Africa and to the role that IP laws, policies,
perceptions, misconstructions and fallacies have played in
fostering/hindering economic and cultural development in Africa.

 *Joel Waldfogel, U Minnesota*: One of my messages of late has been that,
as important as piracy is, researchers should move beyond piracy and should
instead ask the broader question relevant to whether copyright is working:
in light of various different technological changes - some of which reduce
revenue and other which reduce costs - what's happening to the flow of new
products. My own work is empirical using large-scale real world (as opposed
to experimental). The main challenge is generally getting access to such
data, which exist but are often expensive.

 *Corynne McSherry, EFF*: How copyright fosters and/or impedes economic
growth, differentiating by industry to the extent possible How fair
use/fair dealing fosters and/or impeded economic growth, differentiating by
industry Comparing fair use v. "limitation and exceptions such as fair
dealing" in terms of how effectively they foster secondary innovation and

*Alberto Cerda, Derechos Digitales:* I think that there is need for more
empirical studies on the impact of regulation. There is no studies about
the economic impact of copyright law in Latin American countries, for
instance. I haven't seen any scholarship providing a comprehensive analysis
of human rights implications of intellectual property laws. In fact, most
of the scholarship focuses on the evident conflict with free speech and
access to knowledge, but pay no attention to other human rights

 *Paul Keller, Kennisland*: from our perspective it would be extremely
useful to see research into the attitudes of rights holders who do not
commercially or otherwise exploit their works anymore. Given the long
duration of copyright and discussions around subjects such as orphan works,
mass digitisation, extended collective licensing and registration of works
it is crucial top gain insight into the motivations of
creators/rights-holders that have effectively abandoned their works

 *Kristin Thomson, Future of Music Coalition*: From the musician revenue
perspective, we're always keen on having Artist Revenue Streams work
replicated in other countries. We've had conversations with key
organizations and individuals in Canada, the UK and some smaller European
countries, but we lack the funding to proceed. If anyone wants to work with
us to make this happen, we'd love to talk.

 *Tim Lee, Washington Post*: There's a lot of room for research about
trolling, both copyright and patent. It would be interesting to know about
the extent and profitability of trolling, the costs trolls impose on
industry and private sector, and policy responses. The policy questions are
particularly under-explored for copyright.

 *Alex Dent, George Washington U:* 1) What are the "costs" of IP policing,
where costs are conceived of not only in financial terms, but also in
social and cultural terms? Put somewhat differently, what does it mean that
the vast majority of the world`s population experiences IP as an
interdiction? 2) What is the relationship between policy-making in DC and
global policing practice? How does one translate into the other, and then
back into policy once more?

*Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas, Swinburne U*: More comparative studies of
IP “on the ground” would be valuable – i.e. studies that consider global
regulatory issues in terms of the difference they make to people’s
communication practices in everyday life... The task would then be to link
such studies up with the top-down regulatory studies, providing a kind of
meso-level bridge that can connect the two perspectives.

 *Glyn Moody, Techdirt, etc.*: Investor-state dispute resolution is the
greatest threat to, well, everything. It allows multinational companies to
override local laws, include those on health, safety, labour and
intellectual monopolies. And yet few know about it. So a key aim would be
to make the public and politicians aware of its huge threat.

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