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High Level Panel at the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

  • American University Washington College of Law 4300 Nebraska Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)

Internet Governance Lab faculty and Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Andrew Rens will offer a high level panel entitled "Hidden Levers of IP Control" at the 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest on Friday, September 28, 2018 held at American University’s Washington College of Law and co-organized by the American Assembly at Columbia University.

The panel will take place from 11:00am-12:10pm in the Faculty Lounge at the Washington College of Law.

Panel participants from AU will include Internet Governance Lab Faculty Fellow Dr. Patricia Aufderheide; Professor Hillary Brill of the Washington College of Law; Dr. Christine Farley of the Washington College of Law and Faculty Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property; Faculty Fellow and Chair of the Communication Studies in the School of Communication at AU Dr. Aram Sinnreich; Professor Sherwin Siy of AU’s School of Communication; and Internet Governance Lab Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Andrew Rens.

Additional panelists include Kathy Kleiman of ICANNWiki and Professor Rebecca Tushnet of Harvard Law School.

The panel will be moderated by Internet Governance Lab Faculty Director Dr. Laura DeNardis.

Topics to be discussed include: trademark law and domain names; hybrid products that are both hard and software; algorithmic enforcement and DMCA take-downs; copyright; and anti-circumvention and the Internet of Things.

The high level panel will discuss how technological processes, rather than formal legal processes, decide the outcome of Intellectual Property claims. These include: Internet Protocol Address blocking, automated take down, technical protection measures, technical standards, and algorithmic content control. These processes - and in particular, the scale and reach of these processes - are often not considered. The panel is an opportunity for scholars working on one aspect of this phenomenon to consider it as a whole, to compare the different aspects of the whole, and potentially to converge on a research agenda which can inform governance of the technological levers of control.

The panel will attract activists concerned about the use of technology to restrict access to knowledge and intellectual property, and Internet governance scholars concerned that the shift removes oversight that takes the public interest into account. It is anticipated that the discussion will engender a common understanding of the phenomenon which can serve as the basis for a policy research agenda, with a focus on future research that informs interventions in the governance of technological means of control.

According to the American Assembly's website, "The Global Congress provides a forum for advancing evidence-based, public-interest intellectual property policies that balance the needs of creators and the public." This annual event brings together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss major recurring topics including digital rights, access to medicines, transparency and accountability in IP policy making, open models of science and education, and the growing role of trade agreements in shaping the global knowledge economy.