The 2013 ‘Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest’ Research Survey


Between July and September, 2013, we surveyed members of the Global Congress community to learn more about their projects and priorities. We invited participation through email lists and solicited anyone who had either been to a Global Congress, been invited to one, or expressed interest in coming.  We received around 90 responses.

Rather than create an agenda document, we’ve decided to let the responses speak mostly for themselves.  We’ve split them into two parts: a searchable, sortable database for Current Projects (below) and a series of posts on Research Priorities (forthcoming on Infojustice) that compile perspectives on research opportunities and its relationship to policymaking in the next several years.

Here are the caveats: The responses are drawn from–but do not exhaustively reproduce–the responses we received.  Responses have been cherry picked, edited, and loosely organized under primary themes.  We favored detailed responses over lists of projects or statements of general interests or concerns.  The list is also quite limited: it attributes projects to the person or persons who reported it–not necessarily to all contributors to a project.   We can, of course, make adjustments where the attribution is clearly inadequate (let us know if that’s the case).  But we are not aiming for a rigorous accounting of the research field, just a useful one given the usual constraints on time and resources.  If this proves popular, we can discuss expanding it as part of future Global Congresses.

View all survey results


Governance, Participation, Trade Agreements

Public Health, Access to Medicines

Practices and Attitudes, Piracy / Informality, Public Understanding of Copyright

Tech Innovation Systems and Patents, Open Innovation, Tech Patents, Patent SystemUniversity Tech Transfer, Biological Patents

Creative Incentives and Remuneration, Collecting Societies, Licensing, Copyright’s Incentives, Remuneration, Creative IndustriesAlternative Business Models

Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, Access to Cultural Goods, Educational Materials, Libraries

Enforcement, Privacy and Surveillance

Trademark, Geographical Indicators, Traditional Knowledge

IP/A2K Social Movements and Activism, Capacity Building

Adjacent Issues

Geographical Focus

Global, Latin America, Africa, MENA, Europe, South Asia, USA, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Poland, China, Russia, South Africa, India, Ethiopia


Priorities for Future Research

Intro and International Comparison and Cases
Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, and Enforcement
Trade, Patents, and Health
Cultural Economies
Methods, Communication, and Social Movements


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Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported ItResearch VenueProject TitleTopic(s)Geographical FocusDescription
Jinying LiOregon State University, USAPiracy Culture in ChinaBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
ChinaThis research will trace the development of an alternative, pirate space of underground cultural circulation that was created through China’s fast growing circuits of peer-to-peer (p2p) networks. It is based on empirical, ethnographic studies of P2P culture in China.
Miroslaw FiliciakUniversity of Social Sciences/Centrum Cyfrowe, Warsaw, PolandSecretly CulturalBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
Secretly Cultural is a qualitative investigation of intermediaries in informal and pirate circulations of content. We interviewed owners of large file collections on the largest Polish file locker site Chomikuj; translators of movie subtitles; and administrators of rogue online game servers, among others.
Miroslaw FiliciakUniversity of Social Sciences/Centrum Cyfrowe, Warsaw, PolandThe Social History of VCRsBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
This project focuses on the early days of the Polish home video market, the social networks of movie copying, but also on processes of erasing those popular practices from Poles’ memory and labeling them as barbaric and unmodern. The research is based mainly on press archives and about two dozen interviews with people involved in this market in 80s and early 90s. One goal is to show that many of the debates about copyright that take place today are very similar to those of early 90s, and that many of demonized issues - like home-copying enabled by VCRs - eventually made the producers richer, not poorer. I'd like to rehabilitate those grassroots video-sharing practices, and in the process help change wider public understanding of files sharing.
Julian Thomas
Ramon Lobato
Swindburne University, AustraliaAn Analysis of Pirate Media Markets in Relation to Theories of the Informal EconomyBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
GlobalOur aim is to establish an alternative framework for analyzing pirate media markets, drawing on a rubric of informality. To this end, we are building a conceptual framework that brings together social science research on informal economies with current IP debates, and explains the parallels. This is primarily a conceptual/theoretical project rather than an empirical study. We hope that the results may help to provide alternative vocabularies for discussing IP issues, beyond the deadlocked property-vs-liberty positions, while also providing a possible synthetic framework to tie together transnational case studies of IP conflict.
Miguel CaetanoCenter for the Study and Research of Sociology, ISCTE-IUL, PortugalP2P Culture: a comparative sociological analysis of sites and networks for online sharing of music, movies and ebooks in Portugal and BrazilBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
Latin America
My dissertation project concerns the analysis of the sharing of unauthorized copyrighted works in Portugal and in Brazil, with a focus on three sectors: music, books and movies.
Koleman StrumpfUniversity of Kansas, USABehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
USAI am working on the economic impact of file sharing downloads on the movie industry. There will be separate papers on theatrical and the home video markets. The paper will utilize fine grained data on downloads and sales.
Miroslaw Filiciak
Alex Tarkowski
University of Social Sciences/Centrum Cyfrowe, Warsaw, PolandPerceptions and Attitudes Toward Copyright in PolandBehavior and Attitudes
Public Understanding of Copyright
We are working (together with Michał Danielewicz and several collaborators) on a large study of perceptions and attitudes towards copyright in Poland. We have conducted 18 focus group interviews (FGI) with selected social groups including youth, teachers, academics, librarians and photocopy shop owners. The study was later supplemented with an online survey of Internet users. The goal of our study is not just to provide a metric of the knowledge about copyright law itself, but to present attitudes and perceptions related to copyright: whom it protects and whom it should protect; attitudes towards copyright enforcement, copying, and piracy, etc. This will be the first study in Poland to look at copyright not just as law, but as a social construct and a collective imaginary.